We pass lots of different types of plantations during our journey and one of them, seen mostly in small thickets, our guide explains are Teak trees.
I was interested to know a little bit more about teak because I once heard a chef say on a cooking programme somewhere that teak chopping boards were the best type of wooden chopping boards you could have in your kitchen.
Now that I have done some research on Wiki however, I see that it says that the silicon in the wood can blunt tools… and most of the praise for this wood is for it’s outdoor durability and termite resistance. Wiki tells me:
“Teak is a yellowish brown timber with good grains and texture. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, and other articles where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for cutting boards, indoor flooring, countertops and as a veneer for indoor furnishings.
Teak, though easily worked, can cause severe blunting on edged tools because of the presence of silica in the wood. Teak’s natural oils make it useful in exposed locations, and make the timber termite and pest resistant.
Teak is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Timber cut from old teak trees was once believed to be more durable and harder than plantation grown teak but studies have shown plantation Teak performs on par with old-growth teak in erosion rate, dimensional stability, warping, and surface checking, but is more susceptible to color change from UV exposure.
Teak is used extensively in India to make doors and window frames, furniture, and columns and beams in old type houses. It is very resistant to termite attacks.”
Luckily to date, we have no termites in our home and I don’t have a kitchen open to the elements, (unless you count the four gas hobs) so now that I’ve done some homework, I will be sure not to fall into any sales traps and be enticed to buy expensive teak chopping boards over their cheap and cheerful other-wood cousins… so you never know, this might be a very handy piece of useless information should the need ever arise.
At least now I know what a teak tree looks like (I had somehow in error imagined it to be a very thick trunked tree like walnut or oak).