This product was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
The challenge of every special occasion is, “What do I get them?” We end up losing the internal battle of what we should buy, and end up purchasing a gift card with an indeterminate amount on it, becoming impersonal and quite un-unique in our giving.
What if I were to tell you of a site that promotes artisans from around the globe, not only providing to you a plethora of unique gifts (do you know what a plethora is?), but also helping to stimulate the global economy. Neither of those sounds like a bad thing, right?
I could go on and on about the value of the company and of its purpose, but I believe that the mission is only properly presented by Novica, themselves:
I had the opportunity to select one item from the Novica website to review and share with our followers, and honestly, it took days to select ONE item! After finally slimming it down to ten, then five, then 3, I waved my finger and landed on a beautifully crafted teakwood cutting/cheese board from Guatemala.
Without any formal training, Teo Hernandez began an internship with a local woodworker, leaving behind his bricklaying hands. “What I enjoy the most about the process is carving the wood – it’s a good challenge to ensure its always carved the same way to ensure high quality pieces that will satisfy clients. I also enjoy designing new products: it’s like the ideas fly from my mind and find a new home in the wood.”
I think what captured me the most about Teo’s story was his battle with polio when he was a child. Miraculously, he fought off the disease without any significant loss. My uncle was struck with polio as a child as well, and although he did lose the ability to use his legs, his determination to succeed led him to become a great cardiologist. I find a sort of empathy and great courage in both of these men.
When the package first arrived, I was so excited to open it! Upon doing so, I was greatly impressed with the packaging. Wrapped in love, the cutting board was packaged quite well and came wrapped along with a “worry doll” and its significance to the Guatemalan culture, and a handwritten postcard from the artisan himself. I truly felt as if this was sent as a gift rather than a shipment from a purchase that I had made.
The teakwood cutting board is stunning beautiful and surprisingly smooth to the touch!
I washed and seasoned the cutting board before use and went to cutting all of the veggies that we were going to need for our dinner that evening – chicken and veggie kabobs. Mmmm. After several uses of the cutting board, I was impressed that there are really not cut marks as of yet, and the wood has maintained its clean appearance.
Per the request of my husband, I did some research on the care of teakwood cutting boards since wooden cutting boards are more prone to harbor bacteria. For those of you that are interested, here are some quick tips for care from ProTeak:
Seasoning your Teakwood Cutting Board
Before you use your cutting board or butcher block for the first time, season it to prevent staining or absorption of food odors and bacteria. The wooden surface needs an oil that can be applied repeatedly to fill the wood pores and repel food particles, liquids, and oils. Do not use any vegetable or cooking oils to treat or finish a cutting surface, as these oils can turn rancid.
Mineral oil is an inexpensive food-grade oil that won’t spoil, and can easily be found at the hardware or drug store. Do not confuse this with mineral spirits, which is paint thinner.
Other treatments you can use are coconut oil, walnut oil, almond oil, and beeswax. Coconut oil is highly resistant to rancidity, and does not have to be refrigerated. It is also one of the healthiest oils to cook with! Walnut and almond oils are not strongly recommended because, although they do not turn rancid as quickly as other oils, they will eventually go rancid. Do not use walnut or almond oil if you or anyone in your family has nut allergies. Beeswax is another natural option. Just place ½ teaspoon of beeswax in 1 cup of mineral oil, place in the microwave for 45 seconds, and apply as normal. You can also use beeswax as a top coat, applied with a soft cloth and buffed off.
To apply the treatment, warm the oil slightly and apply with a soft cloth, following the grain direction. For initial seasoning, you will need to apply 4 to 5 coats. Allow each coat to soak in before applying the next. Do not worry about applying too much oil – the more the better! After applying the last coat, wait 4 to 6 hours for the oil to oxidize and harden, then wipe off any excess oil that did not soak in.
Proteak recommends that you oil your cutting surface once every week to two weeks to maintain quality and avoid bacteria and cracks.
Maintaining your Teakwood Cutting Board
All cutting surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized frequently. One of the following methods are recommended:
- Hot water and soap – Scrub the board with hot water and soap., then rinse and dry thoroughly.Never submerge cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood is porous and will soak up water, causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.
- Vinegar – To disinfect and clean your wooden cutting surface, wipe it with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is effective against such harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Vinegar is especially good for people with chemical allergies. Have a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as an anti-bacterial agent. To kill germs, use a paper towel to wipe the surface down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide.
- Bleach – You can sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution made of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one-to-five mixture of vinegar to water. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air-dry or pat dry with paper towels.
Do not use harsh detergents of any kind.
I love this cutting board. I love that it is circular, and I love that there is a handle. I love its duplicity in purpose; that of a cutting board and then of a cheese board. Cleaning of the teakwood is quick and easy and it stores nicely in the cupboards.
I think above all of the attributes I love, I find that my biggest proponent of this cutting board is its origins and its purpose. Providing a unique product while stimulating the economy in areas of the world that are in need, only affirms my desire to continue shopping through Novica.
Of the vast array of teakwood cutting boards available on Novica from the artisan Teo, here is the one that I received ~
“The Circle of Life” is available for $41.99
A $7 credit available to all first-time buyers for any product on the Novica website using the promo code Save7Novica.
Who doesn’t love daily deals?! Find the Novica daily deal here!
THE NOVICA REWARDS PROGRAM
With your first purchase, you become a Voyager, earning your first passport stamp. This entitles you to
- Earn credits totalling 3% of what you spend, every 3 month period*
- A birthday gift code
- 10% off shipping costs on all orders, whatever your shipping option
OTHER AMAZING FINDS ON NOVICA.com
(and ones that I almost purchased)
Ceramic Tea Set ~ “Frog Serenade” for 2 ~ Retails for $112.95, but is currently on sale for $71.99
The Silk Batik Fan ~ Black Fern ~ Retails for $46.95, but is currently on sale for $29.99
The cultured pearl stud earrings ~ “Taxco Royalty” ~ Retails for $80.95, but is currently on sale for $42.99
This product was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
$35 Novica Gift Code
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