Why Teak Wooden Utensils?
Why should you buy wooden utensils, and especially why Teak .
When you are looking for quality, don't want plastic but are looking for something that will last a lifetime, something unique then you should be thinking of Teak,
Teak wood is not well known in NZ, other than it is used in some expensive furniture. But In NZ terms perhaps the closest wood we have in terms of quality is Kauri.
What is Teak used for ?
Teak wood has a very high oil content, giving it a very high decay resistance. It is incredibly durable and is water resistant. It does not crack or turn black when in contact with metals and it is resistant to termites and other pests. For these reasons it is used in a wide variety of ways, boat building, yachts, exterior construction, indoor and outdoor furniture, veneers and carvings. And of course kitchen utensils.
Why buy and use kitchen utensils made from Teak?
There are several reasons to use Teak Wooden Kitchen Utensils An important one is that they are not plastic, they won’t be sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years or breaking down into smaller and smaller parts that end up in the food chain. They are completely biodegradable.
But there are many reasons to use Teak Wooden Utensils
- Teak is an incredibly hard wood and is extremely durable, it will last a lifetime with simple care.
- Teak does not shrink or warp
- Teak is water resistant – it is often used in boat decks for this reason
- Teak has a very high oil content giving it a very high decay resistance, which means if cared for your teak utensil will literally last a lifetime.
- Because Teak is so hard and strong it does not splinter or crack and can be safely used to cook with, it does not scratch the pots and pans you use, including non-scratch pots and pans
- Teak wood is non reactive, it will not transfer the taste to the food, as sometimes metallic utensils leave food with a metallic taste
- Teak wooden utensils being non reactive will not leach chemicals into your food
- Teak wood utensils are quiet, they don’t give the metallic sound that metal spoons or spatulas do on metal pots.
- Teak wood utensils do not conduct heat, if left standing in a hot pot or pan they will not transfer the heat up the spoon to your fingers when you pick up the spoon
- Teak wooden utensils are sanded 5 times, the handles are incredibly smooth and comfortable to hold and stir with
- Because Teak wooden utensils are so strong, you can use them with any dish, they will not break
- Because Teak wood has such high oil concentrations and is waterproof, they are much more resistant to germs and bacteria growing on the utensils than plastic or metal utensils
- Our Teak wooden utensils have no chemicals or lacquers or dyes on them, only food safe oils. There is nothing that will leach from them into your food as you cook or eat with them.
Teak has so many qualities, it is such an ideal wood to make cooking utensils and bowls, platters from. Take a look at our wide range of Teak utensils, from small salt spoons to large platters and everything in between - Shop
How Should I Care for my Teak Utensils
Most important is not to put them in the dishwasher. That will over time severely damage the wood due to the chemicals used in dishwashers. To clean simply hand wash in warm soapy water, rinse off and pat dry, then leave out to dry completely.
You may re oil from time to time with any food safe oil.
Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai
The villagers who make these beautiful Teak spoons and spatulas.
Thirty years ago the villagers were nomadic, moving from one spot to another, cutting and burning the forests, farming on the cleared land and hunting in the surrounding forest, then moving on once the land could not sustain crops and repeating the process. The people were poor, with yourng people moving to the cities to work, and the land was degraded, with recurring floods and droughts.
Queen Sirikit on visiting the area resolved to do something about it and set up the pilot project. Army rangers and other people with expertise were sent to show the villagers how to grow organic crops, live sustainably in one place and to restore the surrounding environment. Funding for lathes and other tools was provided and skilled wood turners were sent to teach the people how to make the different utensils.
Villagers receive funding to replant hillsides, as well as to farm organically, and to re use and re purpose Teak from old furniture, housing, building sites.
How do we buy from the villagers?
Are they paid at third world rates?
We buy direct from them. They inform us the price and that is what we pay. Having lived in Bangkok for many years, we have met and know some of the villagers. We know firsthand where they live, the conditions they live.
Are you an NGO?
No, we are a business. We need to make a profit to survive. But we love that we get to work with the villagers For us, we see it as a win win, we get to work with people we know and respect, we have products that are high quality, individually made, we get to help, in a small way, financially by providing an outlet for their work.
Who do I help with this purchase.
You help people like Khun Wittisuk, who is able to stay in the village and care for his aged parents, and not have to stay in Bangkok, far from them, driving taxis 12 hours a day.
The village of Baan Lek Nam Pai Yai is also part of the OTOP project.
OTOP stands for ‘One Tambon (meaning sub-district) One Product’. It is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program which aims to support the unique locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon all over Thailand.
The project encourages village communities to improve local product quality and marketing.
Village-made OTOP products are selected for promotion because of their quality and export potential.
By its very nature, the OTOP project comes with its own set of challenges. In traditional societies, villagers would make products either for their own use or to be exchanged, bartered or sold to neighbours. These grassroots products are made during spare time, when farming or housework has been completed. Hence, production capacity and the ability to supply the volume of products required by buyers instantly becomes an issue.
With the introduction of OTOP, village communities are faced with the complex realities of trading beyond borders -- the issues of meeting deadlines, quality control, production capacity, design preferences and marketing challenges. Not all OTOP products in the past were of export quality.
You can read more about OTOP here