When we read roundups of cutting boards, there are usually three categories: wood, bamboo, and plastic. Nothing against those three (we've blogged our love of wood boards before), but we really like these Epicurean boards — called, ahem, cutting surfaces by the company — and they are sort of a hybrid. The non-conformists of the group, if you will...
These boards have the look and soft feel of wood, but they are actually made of layers of paper that are soaked in a resin and cured to make one bonded piece of material. They aren't damaging to knives and look natural in our kitchen, just like wood.
BUT they are dishwasher safe, like plastic, and require no maintenance to keep them firm and smooth. Our favorite feature? They're thin. We have two that we slide in behind our knife block on the counter. They obviously aren't as weighty and comforting to chop on as a big slab of wood, but they feel substantial and take up much, much less space in a small kitchen.
Epicurean sells pizza peels (the material is heat resistant) and a whole line of boards, from carving boards to a gripper series with silicone feet. The paper used to make them is harvested under the guidelines of the North America Sustainable Forestry Standards, according to the Epicurean website.
The line is available at plenty of big chain stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma.