Frequently Asked Questions

We often get asked a variety of question about our New Hampshire Bowl and Board products and policies. Below is a short collection of some of our most often asked questions to help you make an informed decision before spending your hard earned money with us. Learn more about the product benefits and product care for wooden bowls and handmade cutting boards.



 



 

Why North American hardwoods?

Northern grown trees develop a tight grain that reveals a natural beauty in an artfully made wooden bowls, cutting boards and utensils. In recent years, the wood industry has set tougher standards for harvesting american hardwoods making these products more valuable. We appreciate and commend the industry’s growing sustainability focus and efforts. Our business is committed to producing finely crafted wooden products made in the USA with an emphasis on reducing our carbon footprint and supporting local economies. Looking for a great gift? North American hardwoods are the best wood for salad bowls and other wooden kitchenware.

 

Why choose Cherry, Maple or Black Walnut Wooden bowls?

Cherry, maple and black walnut are beautiful and extremely functional hardwoods that produce gorgeous wooden kitchenware that develops a rich patina over time. It’s true, our wooden bowls just get better with use! Wood bowls are perfect for everyday use and offer a lot of eye candy for the money. Bamboo (really a grass) has risen in popularity due to it’s low cost and sustainability but it truly can't compete for beauty amongst these three North American favorites. But what is perhaps less commonly recognized, North American hardwoods CAN compete with bamboo for sustainability and eco-friendliness.

 

Why buy a wooden salad bowl?

A wooden salad bowl is the perfect serving vessel for a carefully composed salad. Show off your home grown lettuce or greens from the local Farmer’s Market in one of our large wood salad bowls. Did you know you can season your salad or salad dressing easily in a wooden salad bowl? You can use the back of a fork to grind garlic and salt into a paste on the side your wooden bowl. Add a pinch of fresh herbs, and grind again to create the foundation of your own homemade salad dressing. We also suggest a touch of mustard and honey or pinch of sugar! Complete your homemade salad dressing with vinegar or citrus juice and olive or vegetable oil, and voila! Classic vinaigrette made to taste!

Another fun tip! Rub the cut side of a clove of garlic over the inside of your wooden bowl to add a hint of flavor to your salad (a trick learned from the original Moosewood Cookbook).

 

Why Cherry?

Cherry is our top choice for a wood for salad bowl. Over time, Cherry darkens with age, and with daily use develops a patina that we think is uniquely beautiful. For a chop bowl, some may prefer Maple as it is slightly more durable – and frequently less expensive. We mostly sell wooden ware in cherry, Maple and Black Walnut because they are the most durable and good-looking of the North American hardwoods. Shop Cherry Bowls today!

 

How do I clean my wooden salad bowl?

Just like a great black cast iron pan, we suggest cleaning all wooden bowls with soap and water. A quick wash in warm, soapy water followed by a quick rinse and towel dry and your bowl is good to go! Wooden kitchenware is not dishwasher safe and should not be left in water to soak - all that excess water will increase the chances that wood will split. Aside from the usual wash after use, we also highly recommend increasing the longevity of wooden kitchenware with a wood care blend of beeswax and mineral oil. Our wood care and preserver products will add longevity to your wood bowl, cutting board or wooden utensils.

 

What kind of foods can I serve in my wooden bowls?

Wood bowls are not just for salad and popcorn! Serve anything you care to: chili and stews, cereal and granola topped with fruit and yogurt, coleslaw (with blue cheese, apples and walnuts of course), or salsa (tomato fresco). Wooden bowls have a classic elegance and mix well with stoneware, ceramic and glass tableware. Your wooden kitchenware will serve you everyday and on special occasions. Imagine a Thanksgiving table with a beautiful roasted organic turkey presented on a wood carving serving board! Your table will only get better with a little homemade cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes served in a coordinating large wooden bowl.

 

How often do I rub my bowls with a bowl rub a wood preservative?

Our hand turned wooden bowls love to be used every day! You won`t wear them out and food oils only enhance the good looks of wood. These are the best bowls for everyday use! To preserve your wooden bowl or board for years to come, touch up with our wood care and preserver. Our all-natural bowl rub and conditioner helps lock in mineral oil and keep your wooden kitchenware looking the part. Is your wood bowl sitting around collecting dust? Try to rejuvenate it’s natural beauty with our tested and approved wooden conditioner! For a fresh scent and natural antibacterial properties, try our Rosemary Oil Rub.

 

Will using a Mezzaluna or chopper ruin my wooden bowl?

Our chop bowls are designed for rugged use in the kitchen. Made from Maple – one of the most durable of the hardwoods - the bowl with withstand daily chopping for years to come. And if you prefer the look of Cherry, go ahead, use a Cherry bowl. It’s only slightly less hard than Maple, and your Cherry bowl will withstand heavy use over time. Think old time butcher blocks – almost always Maple hardwood – proudly displaying the knife marks and dings of honest work – and heavy chop knives – in the butcher shop!

 

How do I prevent my bowl from going “rancid?” Is this a concern?

If you use your wooden bowl a lot, this should not be much of a concern. Simply wash your bowl is warm, soapy water after use to remove any oily residue from your salad or ingredients. Maintain and protect your bowl from absorbing liquids by periodically applying a protective layer of food-quality mineral oil – or a more substantial beeswax finish like our all-natural wood care and preserver.

 

Will my wooden bowl darken with age?

Yes, wooden bowls and cutting boards will all acquire a richer color over the years. Not all hardwoods darken at the same pace, black cherry bowls will darken the quickest, especially when exposed to a lot of daylight. Yellow birch bowls and serving-ware typically become a little yellower over time. Maple will change the least over time and remain the lightest in color.

 

We have an old wooden bowl that has a dark and gummy finish. Can this bowl be saved?

Over time, the use of a vegetable based oil, even olive oil, can create an icky build up on wooden bowls, but don’t despair! It’s mostly elbow grease that will rejuvenate your wood bowl and do the trick. Start by scrubbing your dry bowl vigorously with some fine steel wool. If a bowl has been sitting for some time, it can take some effort to remove the residue. Progress to a rougher steel wool if that doesn’t remove excess build-up. Scrub your wood bowl surface in circles, removing layers of build up as you go! Wash in hot, soapy water, and rub with food-grade mineral oil to rejuvenate the wood. Let the mineral oil soak in and restore moisture to your bowl! For over 150 years, our Iddo Kimball Bowl and Board Rub has been restoring luster to wooden bowls.

 

Are burl wooden bowls and live edge bowls or boards food-safe?

Burl bowls (made from natural tree growths) and live edge boards are of great beauty. We recommend these bowls for display, but not for serving food. Why? Live edges are just that - “alive” and that live layer between the dead outer bark and the inner hardwood rings of the tree is a breeding ground for bacteria. The bark edge is difficult if not impossible to clean and make food ready.

 

Will my bowl start smelling like my salad dressing?

Over time, our wooden bowl may absorb the odor of strong smelling ingredients like garlic. Hot water and mild detergent should eliminate most odors, especially if your wood bowl is cleaned well between uses A little extra elbow grease scrubbing your wood bowl with a Scotch Brite pad can also help alleviate any unwanted odor residue. Another favorite New Hampshire Bowl & Board trick: Sprinkle salt in your bowl and rub with the cut side of a half or quarter slice of lemon (lime works too!). This works wonders on freshening up cutting boards and wooden bowls.

 

Aren't plastic boards safer than wood cutting boards?

This is a common myth. While a plastic board can be sanitized by running through a dishwasher (which we definitely don't recommend for wood cutting boards), wood is naturally anti-bacterial. Regular washing after use with warm, sudsy water will do the trick for most anything! If you were cleaning a cutting board after raw chicken or in a situation where more drastic cleaning is required, we suggest a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water. Let the solution soak into the board for 10 minutes, then wash and dry as usual (with warm, soapy water and a clean dish towel). We also like a 50-50 mix of water and hydrogen peroxide (3%) much better than the frequently recommended chlorine bleach/water rinse.