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Olive wood has to be one of the most beautiful wood that you can get for cooking utensil. The pattern is varied and the texture is smooth. Which is perfect for use as a spoon or a ladle. The problem that I have with Olive Wood is the durability of it. I have read countless articles on how it is hard and durable. In my experience that is not the case.
Often time, when you shop for olive wood, there is almost always little cracks or wood putty filling. To get an idea of what I mean, look at the image below.
In this Olive Wood knife, those discolored ridges are saw dust and wood glue mixed together to fill the cracks. If you leave any of these utensil in liquid for a extended amount of time, what will happen is that the glue will become loose. When that happens, your spoon, knife, or whatever utensil you have will rapidly degrade and snap or crack. Looking at some of the amazon reviews, you will see a lot of people who experience the same issue.
With that being said, there is no denying the beauty of it. I personally love using it in my photos and I have a wide assortment of olive wood products. These is nothing that can beat the rustic look of a olive wood spoon in a bare cast iron pot. If you are to use it for actual cooking, you need to avoid leaving these utensil in liquid (which the manufacturer recommends for almost all wood tools).
When shopping for olive wood spoon or ladles, look closely for the grain of the wood to make sure that it is not filled with wood putty. Those are usually sign, in my experience, that these will not last long. I always double check my wood utensil that they are missing in critical area such as the lip section.
For the olive wood boards, I give it a lot of leeway as those will rarely be used in liquid and be used more as a serving tray. I focus more on the thickness of it to make sure it wont accidentally snap. If you guys have specific problem with olive wood, please comment below.