Buyers Guide – Slateplate
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Buyers Guide

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Slate is an amazing, natural material. Formed over millions of years of heat and pressure from shale and mud. As a metamorphic stone, it is extremely hard and durable.

As a natural product, slate from various locations around the world has some variations. As you can imagine, heat and pressure in the earth's crust varies by location, depth and time period. The most dense, durable and uniformly darkest slate comes from areas in Wales and Canada. Both of these seams of slate were created together at one time, before the Atlantic ocean grew between the continents.

The density of the slate is important in the quality of the product produced for serving ware. Less dense slate is lighter in color and may tend to flake during use (not good for food quality). It is also more likely that less dense slate will create sharp edges in the final product.

Just like you wouldn't choose just any wood for a cutting board or basket, it is important that natural materials be well selected and handled and evaluated during manufacture.

The deep, dark color of our product makes lighter or brightly colored foods "pop". As a background for food service, black is sometimes much better than white or wooden serving wear.

Think of your serving ware or plates as the "frame" for your food picture. The right frame can certainly improve the painting. That is the same as for plating food. Sometimes black is just a better choice to bring out the visual qualities of the serving.

Once you use the best slate on the planet, the most dense and durable. And your manufacturing uses durable feet and ensures the material will not flake and has no sharp edges. Then your products are dishwasher (and sterilizer) safe. How fabulous to host a party and be able to put all of the serving ware in the dishwasher at the end of the evening!

We use only the darkest, densest slate from a specially identified geological seam of slate that spans from Maine/Canada to Wales/UK. Other manufacturer’s slate products use slate that is less dark and dense from other sources around the world.

For passed appetizers, slate is a lovely serving piece. It comes in many sizes. As a natural product, we don't need molds to make different sizes, we can just cut them in multiple sizes and shapes. So we can offer so many choices - when we don't have the costs of molds and production runs.

For chefs, that means we can make a few pieces of exactly the right size plates to "frame" their creations. Visual appeal is important to the enjoyment of the meal. Custom sizes pieces are perfect for creating and enhancing unique culinary creations.

Our serving boards, plates, platters and trivets are dishwasher safe, even under the sterilizing settings. Typical servingware cleaning products including dishwasher detergents will not harm our products. Other manufacturer’s slate products may not be dishwasher safe.

Unlike Slateplate, other slate products that has not been sealed with mineral oil may stain when oily or strongly acidic foods are served on it. For example, raw slate will become darkened in the location where a soft cheese is served on it. It is difficult to remove that stain or even hide it with later sealing. You will never see that staining with a Slateplate product.

1. Hand-wash with a soapy sponge, rinse and dry thoroughly.

2. Rinse

3. Dry, thoroughly

4. To hide scratches, rub mineral oil into the slate

We take great care and personal effort to ensure that our products are food safe. We ensure this through our choice of dense slate, how we manufacture, and how we seal the slate. The density is very important, as the more dense the slate, the less likely it will flake in your food, that combined with our manufacturing practices, we guarantee that our boards won't flake. We also seal our products with food-safe mineral oil.

Use of Soapstone Chalk On Our Trays

I hesitate to call it chalk but most people don't recognize soapstone as a writing tool. Soapstone is the original white "chalk". It is a solid but soft mineral.

It comes in many shapes (round rectangle square) and is cut directly from the larger pieces of stone.

Unlike pressed power chalks (that we remember from school or can buy for the children to use on the sidewalk), soapstone does not create dust. It is so much better when used on slate, right next to food. Soapstone is primarily made of magnesium (think Milk of Magnesia) and food safe.

Planning on throwing a dinner party at home with your friends and family? If this is your time and you have no idea how to begin, then a step-by-step guide on how to make a cheese board is a good place to start! Our dear friend Nami of Just One Cookbook published a beautifully detailed blog post on how to make a cheese board that you can serve on your dinner party that will surely wow your guests

Three Essential Reasons Why You Should Make a Cheese Board For Your Guests

First it is very easy to prepare. Secondly, you can prepare it ahead of time. You can be sure that your guests will have something too munch on when they arrive. Thirdly, serving your guests some cheese assortment and support items will surely keep them busy and entertained while you prepare the main course. And let me add one more key reason why you should serve cheese - everybody loves cheese, that's for sure!

What Type Of Cheese Board Should You Use?

Nami suggests using wood, baking sheet, or marble, but she highly recommends a stunningly finished dark slate board. Why you ask? She says that a dark slate slate board gives a nice contrast to your pale yellow cheese and crackers, which makes them a little more inviting. You can also use a white food-safe chalk to doodle cheese names or messages on your dark slate cheese board. Also, slate boards are actually very lightweight, definitely lighter than wood and marble. To add to that, it is also very easy to clean.

What Types Of Cheeses Should You Add?

Nami advises to serve cheese from different sources, to have a variety of textures, flavors, and colors. She also suggests cutting the cheeses randomly - in blocks, wedges, squares, and circles, to add character to your cheese board. Arranging your cheese in clockwise direction based on texture is also recommended.

What Comes After The Cheese?

Your cheeses are ready; you can now add some salty food items. Salami, speck, olives, and nuts - your choice! Add your sweet items next, and Nami recommends adding fresh fruits such as grapes, and dried ones, like apricot. Crackers and bread are also a must, so your guests could have a wide variety of side items to choose from. Adding condiments and spreads will also make a cheese board stand out! You can add some fig jam, fruit preserves , honey, and mustard - they will surely enhance the flavor of your cheeses and the rest of the items on your board. Remember to serve your cheeses at room temperature, with appropriate knives and spreaders. And of course, as Nami highly suggests, do not forget the wine!

Now, all you have to do is visit Nami's blog post, bookmark it, go ahead and set up your very own serving board!

How Do We Source And Manufacture Our Products?

We searched the world, getting samples from all major and minor slate quarries. We tested durably and "flakiness". We evaluated the consistency of color. Only the slate from geological seam in Canada/Wales meet our requirements.

We decide what slate to buy based on the quality of the natural material. We do not source on cost. We manage cost by purchasing a lot of slate at one time. We keep several tons of slate in our shop in North Carolina.

Because we keep raw slate on site, we can make any size serving piece (up to 24 x 12) with a few days. We can also custom engrave the piece in a similar time frame. So - if you need a totally unique piece. we can usually produce it and ship within a week.

How Long Does It Typically Take For Us To Ship Our Products?

Our website lists pieces that we typically always have in stock. Those ship within a day of your order - unless you are engraving, and that will add a couple of days. We typically ship via Fedex Ground which takes 1-3 business days for East Coast, 2-5 business days for Midwest, and 4-7 business days for West Coast, but in some instances ship USPS which will have a 2-5 business day transit time.