Epicurean boards are very lightweight and exceptionally environmentally friendly as they are composite chopping boards, making them a fantastic addition to your kitchen.
However, many have voiced their concerns regarding its sanitary issues and its ability to preserve blade integrity. In this article, let us take a deep dive and try to answer the looming question: are Epicurean boards suitable for your knives, and should you buy them?
Due to their bountiful glue content and dense material, Epicurean boards are not the best options for retaining knife integrity. However, compared to glass cutting boards, they are significantly safer to use and have their benefits.
Due to their innovative and novel approach, not many understand Epicurean boards from a holistic point of view. That is why in this article, we will discuss the effects of Epicurean boards on your knives, their materials, and their pros and cons.
Is It Safe: A Case Study Of Epicurean Boards And Blade Safety
It is common knowledge that knives hate rigid and hard surfaces. For example, if you hit your blades to sheets of rock, would that not damage its integrity? Now, how does this connect to Epicurean boards specifically?
Because of their sheer rigidity, Epicurean boards have earned quite a reputation. Most of this reputation involves the ability of Epicurean boards to dull the knives cutting through its surfaces.
However, most composite boards like Epicurean boards have different (variating) effects on the sharpness of the knives. While almost all composite boards fare a lot better than glass boards, wood-based composite is the worst offender, and they damage your knife’s edges much faster than other types of composite boards.
However, if you have brought yourself an Epicurean cutting board, do not fret. It is not like you have bought yourself a cutting board with a hefty price for nothing. Epicurean boards have advantages (and, of course, other disadvantages) to their usage, making it an excellent buy.
What Are Epicurean Boards Anyway?
Epicurean boards are a type of cutting board identified as composite boards. Now I understand that I have been yapping jargon such as “composite boards,” so let me explain first.
Composite boards are a particular type of board that utilizes recycled materials such as plastic and wood as their primary materials and infuses them to create a wood-like board.
These properties introduce both benefits and disadvantages to composite boards in general. We have finished discussing one of the disadvantages, as most composite boards dull knives faster than something akin to oak boards. In this section of the article, we will discuss the advantages of Epicurean boards and, then later, the disadvantages.
The Magic Of Richlite
Epicurean boards use Richlite as their primary material to separate themselves from the competition (i.e., other composite boards).
Plastic and wood are the primary components of composite panels, but Richlite changes this by using food-safe-resin soaked sheets of paper, which create a wood-like sheet when pressed together under high pressure and heat.
This property introduces a lot of benefits to Epicurean boards. Said benefits are the following:
The Advantages of Epicurean Boards
- It does not warp (at all)
- Crack, stain, and split resistance
- Environmentally friendly
- More knife-friendly compared to other composite boards
If you are buying an Epicurean board, one of the benefits is that they are significantly more robust and thus gives you peace of mind while using it.
Moreover, unlike wooden cutting boards, which require cutting trees, Epicurean boards use recycled paper, making them incredibly environmentally friendly, sourcing materials from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sources.
Although Epicurean boards are incredibly rigid, they are very lightweight, unlike wooden boards, which are a chore to carry. Because they are very light, Epicurean boards are fantastic partners to outdoor camping activities. Moreover, they are convenient and help those who like to cook and travel simultaneously.
Due to these benefits, Epicurean boards are practically maintenance-free and are more knife-friendly, unlike other boards. However, Epicurean boards have their fair share of disadvantages (aside from being bad for knives).
Let us discuss these issues to help you decide if you should be concerned with the possible issues to your Epicurean board.
The Problems With Epicurean Boards: Should YOU Be Concerned?
Now that we have finished discussing the benefits to Epicurean boards, we will discuss the issues surrounding them. By taking a microscopic look at Epicurean boards, we can help determine if the problems with the Epicurean boards should concern you or not.
Are Epicurean Cutting Boards Safe (And Sanitary)?
Epicurean boards, due to being recycled, receive a lot of flack regarding sanitary and safety issues. Although this may seem like a singular issue from an outside perspective, these are multifaceted issues. These issues have come to light due to several concerns.
One of the very issues is that due to their “recycled” nature, Epicurean boards may not be sanitary enough to be used, especially since we are talking about food here. However, the reality is that Epicurean boards are groove-resistant, making them not an ideal place for food to rot and for bacteria and fungi to flourish.
Moreover, the materials used are food-safe, and the board itself is stain-resistant and non-porous, making them a living irony. Epicurean boards are one of the most sanitary cutting boards out there!
The second issue often brought up with Epicurean boards is that they have a particular odor to them. Personally, although this is the case, I have found Epicurean boards to have fewer concerns with odor over the years. Moreover, Epicurean has addressed this issue as well.
In an “Epicurean Use And Care Document,” under the “Frequently Asked Column,” it is stated that the odor only appears when you are using the boards for the first few times. They have also noted that the repulsive scent usually goes away after three or four washings and that you should not be concerned at all.
Consumers of Epicurean chopping boards have reported flaking as a primary issue within the products.
Over some time (in most cases within two to three years,) Epicurean boards have shown some significant degrading to the quality as said boards start to crumble down. This issue is not even a remote issue, as many have reported this as well.
However, Lynne Jacques of Foodal has observed quite an exciting phenomenon resulting in a compelling hypothesis. Most of the flaking reports are significantly old, and there are not a lot of reports over the last few years.
This phenomenon has led to the postulation that Epicurean has solved the flaking issues from their boards.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When Were The First Epicurean Boards Created?
Epicurean used to be a company whose primary business practices revolved around creating custom skate parks. However, in 2003, they revolutionized the market by creating the Epicurean chopping boards.
2. Are Glass And Stone Boards Good For Knives?
No, they are not suitable for knives. Stone and glass cutting boards were designed for rolling dough and were not ideal for chopping.
3. Are Composite Boards Cheaper To Make?
Since they use recyclable materials, composite boards, especially non-wood-based ones, are much cheaper to produce.