These Are The Tools You Need For Proper Charcuterie Presentation

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It's Charcuterie Week at Food Republic, which is a professional sanction to double my usual rations of bresaola and chicken liver pâté. If you think assembling a proper charcuterie spread means unwrapping a dried sausage and serving it with a random steak knife on a dinner plate, then it's also a great week to upgrade your presentation game. Making quality charcuterie is a global art form, and how you serve it should be on par.

Properly serving charcuterie is not difficult. All you really need is a slender, sharp knife and a platter large enough to hold all your accoutrements, but there's plenty of room for self-expression. Pick tools and serving pieces that reflect your own style but that also highlight and elevate the delicacies you're serving. Below are some of my favorite products to help upgrade your next spread.

Specialty Knives and Utensils


Ham Knife, 190 (about $215)

Leave it to the French to create a knife specifically for slicing cured hams. French knifemaker Laguiole en Aubrac has been making iconic knives since 1829. The company's ham knife is a more recent addition to the collection, along with a few other specialty blades (including a champagne saber). The blade is very thin and long enough to span the entire width of a large haunch, creating paper-thin slices that won't stick to the blade as you move through the meat. It also works well for large cured salmon fillets. It's a serious knife with a serious price tag, but the exquisite craftsmanship makes it a showcase piece for any dedicated charcuterie aficionado.

Forks, Spoons and Spreaders, $18 to $25

It's prudent to have a handful of small utensils lying around for things like chutneys, dips and other charcuterie-embossing delicacies. Dauville's line is petite and well made, and with accents of gold and platinum, they have just the right amount of bling to elevate even the most humble of charcuterie plates. The small accents of gold and silver provide a subtle but fun contrast against a minimal wooden serving board.

Mustard Spatula, $12

Have you foolishly been using a spoon for your mustard all these years? Tangy and rich, mustard is an integral component of any charcuterie spread, so trust the gourmands at Maille (again, the French) and upgrade to the brand's handsome wooden mustard spatulas. Not only do you get to say "mustard spatula" throughout the whole experience, but the utensil's shape makes it ideal for getting every last bit of mustard out of the jar. Pair with a vintage mustard jar or small clay pot for a party-worthy presentation. 

Serving Boards

Handmade Portuguese Wood Boards, $35 to $55 CAD ($27 to $42 USD)

With the exception of maybe the Edison bulb, the wooden serving board is the most overwrought feature in restaurants today. But when it comes to serving charcuterie, a wooden board is actually essential. Thin, tender slices will stick to a finished surface like a porcelain plate, so the uneven texture of a wooden or slate board works nicely. I adore the simple, straightforward craftsmanship of the boards from Gradirripas, handmade and imported from Portugal. There's no fuss here: It's a solid, heavy board, untreated and perfectly shaped, and large enough for an impressive spread. These boards can be difficult to find (I had to schlep mine back from Canada), but they absolutely are worth the hunt.

Marble Boards, $53 to $81

Marble slabs have been quietly in vogue for a while, offering a more chic counterpoint to rustic, unfinished wooden platters. Be careful when laying out thin slices of charcuterie as they may stick somewhat, but the sleek marble is perfect for terrines, pâtés, rillettes and other cured treats. Since it's a completely smooth surface, the boards make for easy cleanup of pâtés and spreads. I like these boards in particular because there isn't an imposing handle to interrupt the natural beauty of the presentation. They're a clean, minimal backdrop for a gorgeous, multilayer terrine.

Charcuterie To Go

Folding Knife and Corkscrew, $30

No picnic in the park is complete without meat and cheese (and wine). Wielding this knife from Opinel means you don't have to be relegated to presliced packaged meats, either. Since exceptional French craftsmanship has unintentionally become a theme of this guide, it's exhaustingly unsurprising that Opinel is, yes, French. And yes, the company has been making knives since the age of dinosaurs, so you know this device will perform flawlessly, and it looks great. Best of all, since it has a lifetime guarantee, it's the only tool you need in your picnic basket until the end of days.

Collapsible Wineglasses (set of two, $10)

This isn't exactly a charcuterie product, per se, but where there is cured meat, there's usually wine. These collapsible wineglasses from Kikkerland will certainly make your outdoor feast a little more bourgeois than most, but ignore the sneering judgment! These glasses are beyond handy. Since they're both collapsible and stackable, the cups easily pack up into a picnic basket, camping kit, or tote bag without occupying too much real estate. If adulthood is good for anything, it's affording yourself the luxury to drink expensive rosé out of proper, transportable stemware.


Cookbook, $18

If your charcuterie game is already on point (you've owned a ham knife for years), then I suggest moving to Expert Level and making your own meats for your next big soiree. Anyone can stock their fridge with expensive imported finds, but homemade charcuterie? Now that's transcendent. Jamie Bissonette of Toro, a Spanish tapas restaurant in New York City with a heavy focus on cured meats, shares all his best recipes and techniques for nose-to-tail cooking at home. It is delicious and ambitious, as all exceptional cookbooks should be.