We all love the warm, natural look of wooden cheese boards, but they’re not always the best option for everyone. On the other hand, our bamboo cheese servers are incredibly durable, won’t warp or crack, and can be oiled to maintain a lustrous, water-resistant surface. Here’s why we love to use bamboo boards to serve cheese, whether whipping up a casual snack or having friends over for a dinner party.
Pros and Cons of Wooden Cheese Boards
Picture a beautiful, bountiful cheese board in your mind. Chances are, the surface peeking out from beneath the luscious cheeses, salami rivers, and bowls of olives is made of wood.
There’s a reason for that. Wood is an accessible material that offers a warm, natural look, and with the proper care, it lasts a lifetime. But there are drawbacks to wooden cheese boards too.
For one, a large wooden cheese board can be heavy and awkward to carry—even heavier if they’re laden with lots of cheeses and accompaniments. Size and weight can make a large cheese board more difficult to clean than boards made of other materials.
Wooden cheese boards can also sustain damage if not washed, stored, and handled properly. Dropping a wooden cheese server can cause it to split or shatter. If you accidentally leave your wooden cheese board soaking in the sink, the water can do irreparable damage, warping or cracking the wood and destroying that beautiful board.
Finally, well-made wooden cheese boards tend to be more expensive than those made of other materials. And although wooden cheese boards can come from reclaimed or renewable sources, there are more sustainable options.
The Benefits of Bamboo Cheese Boards
When our founder Jessica Sennett was developing the Cheese Grotto, she knew she’d need to use a durable, beautiful, and sustainable material for its removable shelves, which double as cheese boards. After months of research, she landed on bamboo as the ideal material.
Bamboo cheese boards offer the same warm tones and smooth, natural texture of wood—although bamboo is often mistaken for wood, it’s actually a grass—meaning it’s better able to withstand higher-humidity conditions than wood. The three-ply bamboo material we use is also incredibly durable and long-lasting.
In fact, our bamboo cheese boards are three times stronger than solid oak, making them virtually unbreakable. Plus, our bamboo is free of formaldehyde, meaning it’s food safe and safe to have in your home. We love this material so much that the Fresco, Mezzo, and Piatto Cheese Grotto models are constructed out of bamboo.
Bamboo cheese servers are also very light and easy to keep clean. Simply hand wash with mild soap and hot water, then air dry. Once a month or so, apply a layer of oil to your clean, dry board to keep it looking great and maintain its durability.
Best of all, fast-growing bamboo is a sustainable material for building everything from cheese servers to coffee tables. It’s also more affordable, making attractive, high-quality bamboo cheese boards one of the most accessible options, no matter your budget.
How to Choose a Bamboo Cheese Board
The best bamboo cheese boards will be strong, well made, and long lasting. We sell several bamboo cheese servers in our online store, many of which double as shelves for the different models of Cheese Grotto. Check them out in our guide to buying the best bamboo cheese boards in 2022.
Regardless of which bamboo cheese board you choose, you’ll want to consider the size of the board. Do you usually serve just one or two people, or are you all about entertaining crowds of hungry cheese lovers? Shape is also important. A square or rectangular board has more surface area, which means more cheese and accompaniments—but a circular board offers a different look that can mix things up on your tablescape.
You’ll also want to consider the finish on your bamboo cheese board. Bamboo is somewhat porous, but we prefer unfinished boards over finished ones. Why? Once the surface of a finished bamboo cheese board can get scuffed or scratched, there’s no going back.
Don’t worry—unfinished bamboo won’t impart unwanted flavors into your cheeses or accompaniments. Plus, because it’s so tolerant of high humidity, unfinished bamboo is better for ripening cheese in your Grotto at home.
However, properly oiling an unfinished bamboo cheese board will reduce the appearance of scratches. And with unfinished bamboo, you can even buff out small nicks and dings in the material with fine-grained sandpaper. With proper care and cleaning, an unfinished bamboo cheese board can be your trusty serving vessel for years to come.
Do you have a bamboo cheese server you love? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know!