The modern butcher block was developed in the late 1800′s and was originally called “The Sanitary Meat Block”. Prior to the butcher block, butchers cut on a section of tree trunk set on legs. Tree rounds were prone to cracking and splintering creating spaces for germs and general unsanitary conditions. The Butcher block minimized this cracking, by being design from many pieces of hardwoods, exposing the hardest part of the wood as the cutting edge – the end grain.
The modern butcher block was always solid and usually very thick. The thickness was very important for the longevity of the block and also for the stability the size provided. Additionally, the blocks were usually very thick to allow the butcher to work on the block for a very long period of time. It was common practice for a butcher to buy a block as an apprentice and use the block throughout his entire career. After long use the block would become worn and could be planed down to create a flat cutting surface.
Thus butcher block became tremendously popular with butchers and today butcher blocks are still considered safe for food preparation, when cared for and maintained properly.
”Van der West” butcher blocks are made from indigenous and rare wood to order. We manufacture from most rare woods, feel free to enquire about your personal choice of wood.
The photo displays a butcher block manufactured from South African Pine. Our butcher blocks are marked “Proudly van der West”, made in South Africa, and display our logo.
Our butcher blocks and cutting boards are equally popular for home use in the modern kitchen. Food preparation for most meals is a time-consuming process. A genuine “van der West” cutting board or butcher block makes this task an absolute pleasure. Our butcher blocks all come standard with a sloped juice groove.
A genuine “van der West” cutting board looks great in any kitchen, and will become a family heir-loom that can be passed down to future generations.