The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


Caring for Wood Bowls Boards and Spoons

Wood Kitchenware I love the feel of my birdseye maple sugar spoon. It looks good, but more important, it feels good. To keep it looking good for a long time, I've spent time researching the best care and cleaning advice I could find.

Today, I'm sharing what I've learned about caring for wooden spoons, bowls and cutting boards.Routine care: Wash your cutting boards or spoons with soap and water. I recommend all natural real soaps like Sunflower or Dr. Bronner's. To be extra effective, use a scrub brush to get into any nooks or crannies.Always air dry your wooden ware.

Be sure water does not pool inside a bowl or on your wooden ware.Occasionally sanitize your wooden ware. Did you know, studies have shown that wood is more sanitary that those polyethylene, hard plastic boards? Visit for more details and for recipes for homemade sanitizing solution."Do Not"s:

Do not soak your wood in water for more than 10 minutes,
2. Do not store it in your oven if it has a pilot light,
3. Do not leave it in bright sunlight for long periods,
4. Do not put wooden ware in the dishwasher.

5. Do not leave metal objects on a wet board, the metal will mark it.Sometimes your wood will need a little extra love & care. Signs your wooden ware needs more attention:

It is changing color, getting darker or lighter
2. The surface is becoming rough or "feathery"
3. It feels tacky or sticky.How to refinish your wood spoons and bowls: Cover your counter with several layers of newspaper. If there appears to be a layer of oil on your wooden ware, scrape off what you can with a wooden spatula. Clean and sanitize as described above.

Then, wet the entire piece with water and coat it with lots of kosher salt. After ten minutes, wet a soft cloth with warm water and scrub the piece. The salt draws out bacteria and gently smoothes the finish. Alternately, use 120 grit sandpaper.Once it is dry, oil the wood. I use Ed's cutting board oil.

This product has a natural walnut oil base. Some people prefer mineral oil, saying it is more stable than nut oils. Mineral oil, though, is a man made petroleum product and many hand crafters prefer nut oils. Nut oils are safe, natural and environmentally friendly.

Ed says "Shake the bottle thoroughly to distribute the beeswax, then apply liberally. Rub the oil in with a soft cloth in the direction of the grain." Many woodworkers recommend oiling with clean bare hands. The warmth and friction from your fingers helps the oil penetrate deeper. After a few hours of drying, wipe off any oil not absorbed. Then do it again.

Two coats is normally enough to last months. If you find your pieces need retreatment sooner than this, try three or four coats.


Stephen Fishman

By: Stephen Fishman


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