Michiel Vanhoudt wrote:Most birch is too soft imo. Only exception is slow grown birch I tested.
I agree. Wood choice in a cutting board is a surprisingly difficult thing to navigate. It's made especially difficult when a gourmand desires something unique and exotic. In my opinion, you want a dense, close-pored, relatively stable hardwood. End grain is the best, face or edge grain is fine.
In case anyone is interested, here are some things you definitely want to avoid:
1) Any species of softwood. Pine, fir, spruce. They are just too soft and will get scarred up.
2) Any silica-laden wood like teak, because they are brutal on knife edges. Ipe, bubinga, paduak are other culprits. The bummer here is these woods are generally really water-resistant. But your knife edges will thank you if you avoid them
3) Any open-pored wood like oak or mahogany. Open wood pores let water and bacteria penetrate.
4) Bamboo- I could write a book on this, but these boards are almost exclusively made in China and are chock full 'o Chinese glue. I don't know what's in that glue, but it's generally hard on knife edges. Bamboo is often touted as being eco-friendly, which might make them a good way to go if only it were true.
So what are we left with? My favorites are domestic (U.S.) hardwoods: Hard Maple, Black Walnut, and American Cherry. If someone wants something funky, Purpleheart from South America can be fun to play with. As the name implies, it is... purple.
Of course, I can make a cutting board out of anything. Those are just my preferences for high-end, wood cutting boards. Some people will choose form over function; others will go with a $2 plastic board from Ikea.