Revered across the subcontinent for its anti-bacterial and purifying properties, the neem tree-its leaves and twigs-find many uses in an Indian household. Popular due to its extensive medicinal qualities, neem leaves are an ingredient in home remedies from chicken pox to face masks. Its oil is used as an insecticide while leaves are used as oral hygiene (datuan!) and immunity boosters. But today we’re talking about a relatively lesser used part of this beloved green wonder; its bark. As all of us try alternatives to make our kitchens more sustainable, wooden spoons and chopping boards are fast gaining popularity. Not only do they look beautiful but also spoons and chopping boards made of wood are completely recyclable. Both, wooden spoons and chopping boards, are an incredibly versatile addition to your kitchen. They can serve a wide range of functions. The spoons can be used to serve, mix, stir or flip. Neem wood chopping boards are perfect for cutting, dicing, chopping, and yes, even serving! With the proper care, they can be used for a lifetime. But before we elaborate further on the ‘how’ aspect of wooden utensils, let’s take a look at the more pertinent question - why Neem wood utensils?
The use of Neem wood brings with it numerous benefits. Of course, its antibacterial properties are at the top of the list. Neem wood is also nontoxic so food always stays uncontaminated by any chemicals. In this case there’s no leaching regardless of the food’s temperature or chemical composition. Neem wood utensils are also an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to metal or plastic. Not only are they completely biodegradable, which helps the earth immensely, they are also durable. Wooden spoons have literally been passed down from generation to generation in families, which just goes to show how long lasting they can be if cared for properly.
Neem wood is also heat resistant. This makes cooking much easier as the spoons do not get heated even inside pots and pans that are on the gas-top. Not to mention the comfort factor! How many times have you felt the sides of a metal spoon digging into the palm of your hands? Or wrenched your hand away from a scalding hot metal spoon? An additional benefit of using wooden utensils is that it will not leave any scratches on your cookware. Spoons are generally used for scraping, serving and mixing while chopping boards can be sanded down and made anew with a little effort.
Neem has always been a provider for Indian communities across the nation. Through its wide variety of forms and uses, there are many reasons to admire this humble plant and what it can do. Neem may not be the first choice when you think of wooden cutlery but it definitely tops the list when the demand is so high. So what are you waiting for? With so many advantages on the table, it’s only natural (all puns intended) that you add Neem wood utensils to your kitchen counter.