The beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a characteristic plant of the Italian Alps and Apennines. When hiking through the mountains or hills you can admire the amazing beeches with their typical colors, especially in autumn when the landscape is dominated by warm colors like yellow and red. Thanks to its widespread distribution, man has made use of the beech in many ways. It is employed both for manufacturing furniture as well as firewood. Even its fruits, the beechnuts, are used, especially for cooking. For many years, the beech’s branches have been utilized as the most common firewood. But beech wood is also suitable for firing the stove and oven in order to cook food for the family.
It is easy to work beech wood and it is particularly suitable to compose interior designs and to build furniture, such as chairs. It is thanks to its flexibility that with the correct processing Michael Thonet created the famous chairs, which represent the British Victorian Era. The ease with which the beech wood can be bend into different shapes is essential to its widespread use in producing sinuous kitchen furniture, which is impossible with other kinds of wood. Furthermore, it is easily procured at a moderate price and can take every color and shade after treatment. These are some of the reasons that make beech the most used wood in the creation of modern-style kitchens.
You can utilize the beech not only for manufacturing a table but also for setting it: its fruits, the beechnuts, are edible. However, you need to remove the external part, the pericarp, which is poisonous. Also, in autumn you can grill the nuts like roasted chestnuts. After roasting them you can make a drink that can be considered a substitute for coffee. Moreover, the seeds of this tree are used to produce oil to be used in place of olive oil. In addition, essential oils are extracted from the seeds as well, which act as natural remedies for different maladies. Traditional medicine says that just a few drops of beech wood essential oil can appease even the most unfriendly man of the city!