With the exception of cast iron, and maybe high-quality knives, kitchen tools are rarely purchased for posterity. More often, they meet an immediate need. Jacob May’s end-grain butcher blocks, however, are both at once. Working with domestic lumber, May cuts and assembles individual pieces of wood by hand to create one-of-a-kind fractal patterns from the woodgrain. The result is an heirloom-quality cutting board that’s gentler on knife edges, doubles as a serving piece and, if properly cared for, will last a lifetime (or two).
What Does “End-Grain” Mean?
End-grain cutting boards are constructed so that the fibers of the wood face upwards and comprise the surface of the cutting board, rather than running laterally, as they do in edge-grain cutting boards. While more porous than their edge-grain counterparts, end-grain boards are gentler on knife blades.