When you buy a Fifth & Cherry board, you can rest assured that you’re buying a 100% environmentally friendly, ethically sourced, sustainable product.
Fifth & Cherry cutting boards are made from American Black Cherry fruit trees grown in Northern Pennsylvania and New York. Our wood is FSC chain of custody certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This certification ensures that a company’s forestry practices are independently and objectively evaluated to meet the standards set forth by the Forest Stewardship Council®.
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Why Cherry Wood?
Wood is natural, strong, and durable. The cherry wood used by Fifth & Cherry yields to knife edges, is antibacterial and exhibits self-healing properties. Other materials cannot come close to matching wood as the best material for cutting boards for a variety of reasons.
Plastic is a very common alternative material for cutting boards, largely because of its low production cost.
Besides being harmful to the environment, one of the main problems with plastic is that it is unsanitary. This surprises many people, as they assume that bacteria would have an easier time surviving on a natural surface like wood than on plastic.
Yet it has been scientifically proven (and verified by more than one study) that bacteria actually thrive much better on plastic cutting boards than on natural wood cutting boards.
Glass is considered the worst surface for cutting due to its effect on knives. In one study a glass cutting board dulled brand new knives in just ten strokes. This makes glass a totally unsuitable surface, and it should be avoided at all costs.
Less Common Surfaces
Less Common Surfaces
Other surfaces to avoid include granite, steel, porcelain, and Corian. Due to their hardness, they all cause knife blades to dull rapidly (almost immediately, in fact). This isn’t only inconvenient; it’s also dangerous. Cutting with a dull knife requires extra pressure, and can easily cause slips or other sudden movements that put you in danger of suffering a severe cut.
Remember: it’s not the food that dulls your knife blades, it’s the cutting surface. Because cherry end grain wood yields under the pressure of the knife blade, it helps to keep your knives sharp, which keeps you safe in the kitchen.
End Grain vs. Long Grain
The specific type of grain that is used to make the surface of the cutting board goes a long way toward determining the board’s qualities. When we talk about end grain and long grain, we’re really talking about which “side” of the wood we’re using.
End grain wood is the most labor-intensive material to use to create a cutting board, but it ages better and is by far the kindest to your knives.
During a cut on an end grain cutting board, the knife edge spreads the wood fibers apart. When the knife is removed, the fibers move back together and mend themselves. This results in less knife marks on the board. End grain wood also creates the least amount of pressure on knives. Because the fibers are pointing upward, the knife cuts into the fibers rather than across them. In essence, the fibers yield under pressure of the blade just enough to keep it from dulling.
Conversely, as you cut across a long grain wood fiber, the fibers aren't able to separate and the pressure of the knife breaks the fibers. This results in visible knife grooves that will require resurfacing more often to rid the surface of splinters and restore its original beauty.
Another factor to consider is the species of wood. The specific kind of wood used will impact every facet of the board — including its appearance, cleanliness, and ability to keep your kitchen knives in tip-top shape.
Cutting boards should always be made from a closed grain hardwood. Cherry, maple, and walnut are all closed grain hardwoods that are not too hard on your knives’ edges. Only trees that produce edible nuts, fruit, or syrup should be used in cutting boards, as they are free from toxins and therefore safe for contact with food.
Cherry makes the ideal cutting board material because it checks all of the appropriate boxes: it’s dense enough to be durable under heavy use, soft enough to keep your knives sharp, and because it’s derived from an edible fruit tree it’s toxin-free and totally suitable for food contact surfaces.
Below are descriptions of several different wood species and why they shouldn’t be used for cutting boards & food prep.
Oak & Ash Wood
Oak and Ash wood have many pores that can harbor bits and pieces of food, and that provide a good habitat for bacteria to flourish.
Many tropical woods contain toxins. These toxins are produced by the trees themselves in order to keep the plethora of insect and microbial life found in the warmer tropical regions from eating their way into the tree’s flesh.
Another wood that is often used but should be avoided is teak. Although highly resistant to water and decay, teak is an extremely hard wood due to its silica content, so it will rapidly dull your knives.
Larch is a popular end grain wood source, as its prominent growth rings make a very attractive visual pattern. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too soft to make for an ideal cutting surface and will quickly mark up, making it both unattractive and unhygienic.
Acacia wood is too soft for use in a cutting board and will quickly develop deep grooves.
Bamboo is a grass, not wood, and is only able to be used as long grain. This means the grass fibers will break and show knife marks, making it harder to clean. Bamboo also cannot be refinished, and is 19 percent harder than traditional maple - so it’s also harder on your knives. Additionally, the small grooves in a bamboo board tend to ever-so-slightly catch your knife blade, interrupting a smooth cutting action.
The Difference is Clear
There are no shortcuts in good craftsmanship. Fifth & Cherry cutting boards are painstakingly constructed, taking a minimum of 28 core steps and hundreds of intermediary steps to meet our exacting standards. We obsess over the details and use only the highest quality materials to create the best possible ownership experience based on looks, durability, ease of use, and safety. When you buy a Fifth & Cherry cutting board, you can be 100% sure that you’re investing in the best product that money can buy.
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