Benefits Of Using A Wooden Salad Bowl
You may have seen grandma using wood bowls for her salads or chopped salads on your friends dinner table being served in wood bowls.
A quality wooden bowl could last 100 years, it just needs to be cleaned properly and maintained regularly. At The Wood Bowls, our goal is to provide unique wood pieces that could eventually become a family heirloom.
If you're looking to invest in a wood salad bowl, there are many benefits of using a wooden salad bowl that you may not know!
Teak Salad Bowls
Teak wood is native to southern Asia. It's also widely grown on plantations throughout tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Salads have high water and oil content so hardwoods are best. Teak salad bowls are often used for salads because of their many qualities.
Features of Teak Wood
- Teak wood is a hardwood, which cellular structure helps to be naturally water resistant.
- Teak wood has a naturally high oil and rubber content which makes it more resistant to harsh chemicals, fungi and rotting.
- Teak wood is incredibly durable.
As with all wood bowls, you never want to leave water sitting in your bowl, especially hot water, as it could cause cracks or splits.
Types of Wood Not To Use For A Salad Bowl
Beech wood doesn't have durable qualities like other wood that's used in the kitchen. In it's natural state it will fade and turn yellow or gray, which is not desirable as well.
Birch is a bit softer wood and as it dries it loses volume which makes it more prone to warping - no good for wood bowls!
Oak may be beautiful to look at, but it can more easily split and crack. Most oak is best when used with a stain, but stained wood bowls are NOT recommend for salads because most stains are not food safe!
Why Use A Wood Bowl for Salads?
There's a great deal of argument over the years about how to use and clean your wood salad bowl.
George Rector was the son New York hot-spot restaurant owner, who later became a cookery writer. In the mid-1930's he wrote a series of articles for the Saturday Evening Post (now available in book form called Dine at Home with Rector). One article called "Salad Daze", where he said that wooden bowls should only be wiped clean, never washed, because the wood would create delicious salads by "curing" over the years. This was his explanation:
"Wood, you see, is absorbent, and after you’ve been rubbing your bowl with garlic and anointing it with oil for some years, it will have acquired the patina of a Corinthian bronze and the personality of a 100-year-old brandy."
The wooden salad bowl became a "must-have" item in the 40s-60s up until food writers in the 1960s disputed Rector's theory, claiming it false. They said that oils and dressed to coat the salad could seep in turn the wood rancid.
It may be nostalgic for some, good looking for others and then there are those that claim wood bowls make their salad taste better. What do you think?
We believe it can be a bit of all of those things. Making your salad in a wood bowl may make your salad taste better BUT we do always recommend washing in between uses.
Salad Dressing In Wood Bowls
Want a bit of a citrus twist? Lemon juice is well-known for antibacterial properties and a nice crisp flavor. Just before making your salad, rub the inside of your large wood bowl with half a lemon, squeezing gently as you go for a little extra juice. Either drain before adding salad ingredients, or keep inside to add to the dressing flavor!
Garlic Wood Salad Bowl Trick
If you love garlic in your vinaigrette, but don't like raw garlic in the salad since it can be overpowering, we've got an idea for your salad (well, it was originally an idea from George Rector as well).
Take a clove of garlic and rub it around your wooden salad bowl!
You'll be left with a pleasant background note of garlic infused throughout the salad, which gives us a few benefits. First, the garlic will gradually mix into your dressing as you eat and move the greens around the wood bowl and secondly, as you eat you'll smell garlic which sort of tricks your tastebuds into actually tasting it more (claims from The Kitchn)!
Have you tried this trick before?
Keeping Your Wood Salad Bowl Clean
As we explained above, we don't agree with George to only wipe and not wash your wood bowls. Nut and fruit oils like olive, canola, coconut, etc are not good for seasoning bowls if you use your bowl regularly. It can cause a fowl, rancid smell.
So we recommend washing your salad wood bowl with mild soap and water after each use, remembering to dry completely, never air dry. Then season with a food safe mineral oil or beeswax conditioner when needed!
Now you've got all the tips and tricks to serve the perfect salad in a wood bowl for years to come! You can get started with our Kesukaan bowl!