The Sologne - a fairly undiscovered region
Not many people in Germany know the French region of Sologne. The beautiful area is located only two hours from Paris and south of the Loire valley, which is known for its magnificent palaces and castles. The Sologne is characterized by a fairly flat wooded and heath landscape and is home to a number of animals. In the sustainably managed ponds of the Sologne, hundreds of tasty fish can be found. As a result, the region has mostly been popular among ornithologists, hunters, fishers and cyclists so far. The small villages with their half-timbered houses clad with tiles are perfect for those who do not only wish for relaxation but also like to exercise in the fresh air. On the markets, local specialties are offered, such as aromatic boar ham, different sorts of goat cheese, spicy wild honey as well as classic French baguettes. Trips to surrounding towns such as Tour, Blois or Orléans ensure that you make the most of your stay in Sologne.
Cabinet maker's "Les Billots de Sologne"
Located in this idyllic landscape, in Chaumont-sur-Tharonne, one of the most beautiful villages in the middle of the Sologne, is the cabinet maker's "Les Billots de Sologne". For five generations, the family-run company has been producing furniture of high quality. Founded in 1912 as a carpentry company that specialized in renovations, ten employees have been manufacturing butcher blocks made of common hornbeam wood since September. The whole team is fond of wood, which inspires them to create beautiful things that will last for generations. The classic products are manufactured according to very high standards; even the saw mill is checked on a regular basis. As a result, you can be sure that any "Les Billots de Sologne" butcher block will serve its purpose for a lifetime and help you create delicious meals.
Wood in the kitchen
Not only expert chefs, but also enthusiastic amateur chefs favor chopping boards made of wood. This is why the employees of the cabinet maker's manufacture the "Billots de Sologne" in the traditional way by using the firm wood of the common hornbeam in order to meet a high standard of aesthetic. As a matter of course, the wood of the common hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is taken from sustainably managed forests in France. This wood is the hardest wood that can be found in Europe - even harder than that of oak or beech trees. Thanks to the wood's natural hardness, its surface and the butcher blocks made thereof are extraordinarily impact-proof and abrasion-resistant. As a result, this wood is perfectly suitable for serving as a hygienic chopping board in the kitchen.
Traditional manufacturing methods
The boles of the common hornbeams are cut in the saw mill so that at first slices and then dices occur. These are positioned in a way that the grain stands upright and the fine annual rings come into view. After that, the wooden dices are neatly glued together. This unique end-grained wood technique makes these chopping boards and butcher blocks so durable and solid. Small cuts into the wooden boards, which are normal signs of usage, repair themselves, so to speak. However, if the fibres parallel the cutting surface, as is the case with most chopping boards, they cannot repair themselves. The cuts remain, are getting deeper with time and provide an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. This is not the case with the traditional "Les Billots de Sologne" chopping boards and butcher blocks.
"Les Billots de Sologne"
For those who love and cherish precious things, the cabinet maker's created the traditional "Les Billots de Sologne". Thanks to their decades-long experience in refurbishing old furniture made of wood, the employees have the knowledge as well as the skills to combine traditional craftsmenship with state-of-the-art techniques. As a result, the "Le Billots de Sologne" are remarkable butcher blocks that are characterized by their special charm. Due to the excellent workmanship, the incredibly firm and finely patterned wood shows the fine wavy lines of the annual rings. This makes the style of the chopping boards so unique.
Surface of the chopping boards
The surfaces of the chopping boards and butcher blocks are gently sanitized with a certified vegetable oil that has been approved for use in contact with foodstuff. This treatment highlights every nuance of the fine and solid wood. It is guaranteed that the wood is not treated with preservatives but stays as natural as it grew in the forest. As a result, the "Billots de Sologne" meet all European quality standards in terms of materials that come into contact with foodstuff.
Maintenance of the chopping boards
The chopping boards and butcher blocks only need to be wiped with a moist cloth and dried thoroughly with a kitchen towel. In order to preserve the silky sheen for a long, it is advisable to gently rub the surfaces with sunflower oil. Expert butchers normally use scrapers to clean their butcher blocks.
Apart from ready-made chopping boards and butcher blocks, the cabinet maker's Leteillier also offers custom-made "Les Billots de Sologne".