Fred Cutting Board

Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 1 out of 5
Yeah, but: Funny, yes.

The Long Version: Sometimes you might as well just write my name on something. Penny bought me this after she caught me measuring the carrot sticks – I wanted to ensure that I cut the celery to the same size. After all, I don't want one settling to the bottom of the container when I'm packing my lunch. This cutting board has half-inch grid lines set into the wood, where they won't be removed until the surface has seen a fair bit of use.

Given my rather limited culinary skills, having the ruled lines has actually turned out to be somewhat practical, even though I don't use them most of the time. I rarely cut square to the board, and amusingly, the large photo on the back of the package shows exactly the same thing: someone cutting at an angle, making no use of the markings that set it apart.

After only a couple of uses, the Fred cutting board has warped slightly and started to split. It's perfectly usable still, but perhaps it isn't expected to be a hard-use culinary tool or an heirloom. I suppose that makes it an adult novelty product, and it's about time I owned one of those.

Time will tell if this becomes my main cutting board or not; at 9"x12" it's a little smaller than the plastic one that I like. I'll update this review in a few months when I have a better idea of how well it will hold together.

One thing that I do have an issue with is the "OCD Chef" name. I dislike pop psychiatry even more than I dislike pop psychology, and the coloquial trivialization of mental illness just isn't something to be proud of. Careful, methodical, perfectionist, precise: it's not hard to think of other names that would actually suit the product better than the one that they chose.

So in the end we have something that I'm conflicted about. It's amusing but needlessly offensive, useful but with questionable longevity. That makes it pretty typical for the company that markets fridge magnets that look like chewed gum – it's just too bad that children can't choose their parents. The idea is better than this.

last updated 6 jan 2012


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