Confessions of a culinary shopaholic + why you need to get yourself a sexy sampaloc chopping board now: Vegan MoFo #3

Some girls are shoe shopaholics, some are bag shopaholics. There are some who can’t seem to be satisfied with one shade of lipstick and so are make-up shopaholics.

I’m happy to say I’m neither of those, although I’m sure my brothers would beg to differ on the shoe situation. But I have to honestly, sincerely confess that I’m a culinary shopaholic.

“What’s that?”, you may ask? Okay, I just made that phrase up like two minutes ago. According to trusty Wikipedia,


Culinary shopaholic – an individual who considers themselves as addicted to shopping for items used in the cooking and preparation of food.

And there my true colors show / I reveal the real another reason for doing what I do: I get to justify my kitchen gadget and exotic ingredient purchases, as well as other impulse buys to “these are business expenses, investments, and for research purposes!”

Some other ways I rationalize being a culinary shopaholic:

1. “I’m going to learn how to plate food more artistically” – purchasing the Alinea cookbook even though I don’t dabble in molecular gastronomy, own a sous vide machine, or own the fancy plateware  and plating accessories used in the restaurant.

2. “I’m going to use this in class!” – hence my industrial-caliber ice cream maker. And hey, I AM holding an ice cream class two Saturdays from now (real reason: if I want ice cream, I want ice cream now – not after having to freeze the bowl of a regular ice cream maker overnight. Also, I had delusions of homemade vegan ice cream grandeur).

For the love of an ice cream maker with a self-refrigerating compressor

3. “I want to make corn tamales using authentic Latin ingredients.” – trudging off to Jackson Heights / Queens to explore Mexican bodegas and lugging home to the Philippines 5 kilos of masa harina and 5 different types of dried peppers.

4. “No one is going to take me seriously if I don’t have this.” – why I got a Breville juicer. Another reason:  my mom’s old rinky dink juicer looked like a toy and sounded like a generator when in operation.

If you haven't tried fresh-pressed green mango juice, you need to now.

5. “I want to make pina coladas and margaritas while camping in Anawangin Cove or teach a green smoothie workshop in an area without electricity” – future purchase of a hand crank blender. Yes, I realize the absurdity of this statement.

I am a culinary shopaholic and I am not ashamed! Aaaand this is the reason why I’m a cheapskate in other shopping endeavors.

My shopaholic purchase last week ended my search for the perfect wooden chopping board that [a] doesn’t cost a fortune, [b] looks sexy, [c] can withstand the force of hacking open coconuts, and [d] is multifunctional. I kind of went overboard though, and bought four (a fifth, a smaller one, came free).

If you’re like me and are tired of crappy cheap-o plastic chopping boards that warp and are too ugly for public display, do yourself a favor and go to your neighborhood wet market. Buy yourself a sampaloc chopping board – better yet, buy two (one for garlic / onions, one for other less-pungent vegetables and fruit) or three (if you live in an omnivore household, another one for cooked meat). I bought four 14″ chopping boards at P400 a pop and was able to wheedle my way into getting an 11″ board (P250 palengke retail) as a freebie.

These boards are ridiculously thick and weigh heavier than a fat baby. I LOVE THEM!

Okay, truth: I was hunting for these because I threw a DIY pizza birthday party last Saturday and needed a sexy pizza serving platter. And yes, they did the trick.

My sampaloc chopping board will pwn your Pyrex dish every time. Photo by Jella Mercado

I foresee these bad boys to be great serving dishes for:

  1. Rustic bread with a side of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or a variety of spreads)
  2. Gorgeous fresh fruit – our local, tropical fruit are particularly colorful and sexy-looking, I have to say
  3. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies – buy these from a shop, plop them on these boards and make ’em look homemade. Your guests will never know.
  4. Pot of tea and teacups
  5. Pile of hearty sandwiches
  6. … or even as a hot pad for steaming hot dishes.

Sampaloc chopping board in the wild (sorry, Blackberry photo this time)

To care for your board, keep it propped up on its side so it stays dry. If you live in an omnivore household I wouldn’t recommend a wooden board for raw meat and seafood; go for plastic so you can avoid cross-contamination and can sanitize it with a bleach solution (you do use separate boards for raw meat and veggies, right?). I understand the butchers in wet markets use sampaloc boards for their meat, buuuuut… better safe than sorry 🙂

I got inspired to buy these boards from watching Buddy, my buko juice guy, hack open coconuts on his trusty wooden chopping board.

One of my dream internship opportunities: be a buko juice lady for a day

Homemade pizza + sampaloc chopping board = match made in heaven.



Filed under Ladidah, The inner workings of Marie's mind, Vegan MoFo

3 responses to “Confessions of a culinary shopaholic + why you need to get yourself a sexy sampaloc chopping board now: Vegan MoFo #3

  1. Pingback: The things we do for our moms: Green juice and smoothie love, Alabang edition take 2 | Kitchen Revolution

  2. Those boards are beautiful! What a fun addiction! Gadgets for the kitchen are definitely my weakness as well. I’m wishing the markets in my area sold those boards!

  3. Greaaat suggestion. My only problem is storing those huge boards when you’re living in a *tiny* condo :-S

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