Does Charcuterie Have to be on a Board? (Some Thoughts)

When your putting together a charcuterie board, it’s really down to how you want to present it, whether you use a wooden board or something else.

Of course when your online, all these charcuterie pictures are on wooden boards but their are a lot of alternatives out there.

Some even have interesting properties like slate, So I hope to give you some ideas and/or inspiration so you can figure out whether you need to get a wooden board or use something else for your charcuterie.

Dry Cured Meat
For a party here is pure cured meats on a rectangular plate – I wrote each types as you can see

Just use a plate and arrange the food in an attractive manner, it can make a big difference when you fold the salami or cured meat is a organised way too.

Like this,

There is a reason why food seems to be more appealing in a restaurant, it’s often because some chefs get trained and how to ‘plate’ food in an appealing fashion.

This completely applies to putting together a charcuterie board together as.

Since I’m all about charcuterie and cured meats, for me presentation makes a big difference.

But I’ve had success using bits planks of wood sanded a little or decorative driftwood found at the beach. What I’m trying to say is you really don’t need to get caught up with specifics, and to be honest.

But also thinking about the out-of-the-box ideas you can use!

Traditional Charcuterie

Some of the classic traditional charcuterie boards have a certain shape if you are after super classic – French or Italian here is a few pictures

salumi charcuterie
Umbria, Italy – Awesome Trip!
Italian Charcuterie Salumi Board
Tuscany, Italy (Porcini Country)

If you want to go really really really traditional, Frank charcuterie has a round design with a handle like this.

Antipasti and Italians are also renowned for their salumi (whole muscle dry cured meat) pre-dinner treats.

A funny little story, went to one of the most revered salumi dry-cured meat places just outside of Parma – Salumeria Gardoni.

Salumeria Gardoni, they have no marketing strategy apart from one approach word-of-mouth. They use recipes and contract out to a reputable dry curing local factory their secrets! These guys have had visits from Japanese businessmen, and somehow ended up in Anime Japanese comic books for their find cured meats?!

It’s not about the board is about what you stick on it.

They used foil trays.

Anyway they have a few tables and it’s only a small shop, we had the finest Parma, & Culatello you could have anywhere in the world (both 24 months).

This was a specialist of an Umbrian black pig, kind of local a but wild. Intensive and delicious cured meats.

Many of these places serve meat served on plates or just simple wooden boards.

Definitely don’t be limited by the idea of what you can use!

Here is a bit more I wrote on ‘traditional’ charcuterie boards!

Options for Board


Slate is an interesting one because it seems to be one of the only type of presentation boards that’s dishwasher safe apart from a normal dishwasher safe. Not wooden boards should go in a dish washer of course.

The other cool thing is you can use chalk to write stuff which makes it easy to remember those complicated names for various crazy cheeses.

The only downside is that you have to be careful because just like a plate, the slate will smash pretty easily if you drop it. Probably one advantage of the wood board is you may have a big mess but no smashed board on the ground.


Charcuterie Salumi Board
Charcuterie Board – my partner put this one together for a special occasion.
Homegrown and Home Made most of it!

You see them a lot around my website but I do love my olive wood, it’s got emotional aspects since 3 of the boards we bought in Itlay whilst traveling for months across the regions.

The complexity of the wood and the idea that you dealing with wood that are, 100, 200 sometimes 500 years old. It’s just incredible to see the number of olive trees around Italy also.

Just about all of the different regions are covered in them, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them do not get harvested anymore too from what I heard.


You have to be a bit careful of the acidic side of things on the granite board, tomatoes or vinegary things like pickles actually stain granite board.

Sounds like some pretty obvious advice but don’t get too hung up on having to have a charcuterie board to present. Yes, the wow factor can be a thing, but it’s more about the quality of the products you put on the board then the actual board.

And alot of the charcuterie boards you see on pinterest or other social media places are A – professional photographers or B – Food Stylists!

And actually nothing like what you see in Italy or France.

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