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Like most people who spend a ton of time in the kitchen, I've gone through countless cutting boards of all shapes, sizes, and materials. Some have been too heavy, some too light... Others were stained and gauged beyond recognition.
Several years ago, I assisted local chefs in the kitchen while they taught cooking classes. It was then that I first went knives-on with an Epicurean cutting board, and my fondness for the brand hasn't waned since.
If you think about it, cutting boards are kind of doomed from the start; they're the crime scene for pretty much every meal you make in the kitchen. Carcasses are split, skins are peeled, and liquids run free—all on a porous surface that is taking hit after hit from a blade.
Most wooden cutting boards need to be coddled and aren't the best venue for raw meats. Plastic boards—in addition to staining easily—don't stand up well against blades. If you're not careful, both plastic and wood cutting boards are susceptible to warping, too. And glass? Well, let's not even go there.
Epicurean boards, on the other hand, are made of a dense, non-porous wood fiber that won't harbor bacteria. Because of its smooth surface, it feels closer to a heavy plastic than a wood-based board, and its heft keeps it planted firmly on the counter while you slice, dice, and mince. This surface is also incredibly knife-friendly; it takes a lot of effort to scar and won't dull your blade in too short a span.
And unlike most wood boards, they're even dishwasher safe and won't stain after hosting hard-to-clean ingredients. They're heat-resistant to temperatures up to 350°F. Additionally, they just look handsome as hell, and much better than that grody old thing you're cutting onions on right now.
Simply put, there are very few tools in my kitchen that I feel as passionately about as my Epicurean; I gush about it all the time in my kitchen, and there's a reason it's become so well-respected by all sorts of chefs.
Of course, there are some weird things to be aware of. The biggest one? These stink the first few times you wash them. It's not the worst smell in the world (I'd liken it to hot, wet rubber), but it definitely will make you think something is wrong. Fortunately, the smell starts to dissipate right around the fourth or fifth wash. It only happens when it's wet, and it doesn't affect the flavor of your food. It's just weird.
Epicureans are also a little pricier than most cutting boards, but they're not out-of-this-world expensive. It's an investment most people will come to appreciate. Just make sure you buy the biggest one you're comfortable using—having ample cutting space is not just nicer, it's safer.