Elm is underrated and underused. I really like the stuff. It’s cheap, does not split, and is quite durable in use. I picked up a board of quarter sawn Dutch elm a while back, which turned out to be perfect for cutting boards. Because it is quarter sawn, the wood is very straight and stable. With a Janka hardness of about 850 lbf, it’s about as hard as bigleaf or red maple.
The reason elm is underused is not because it’s bad. It’s probably because it’s become quite rare in recent years. Dutch elm disease decimated the once common tree. So when you get the chance to buy some elm, give it a try. There’s one minor downside to the wood: it does smell a bit funky when sawn or sanded. The smell disappears quickly after, though. And it isn’t detectable in the finished product.
This board is planed smooth and finished with my food safe wax, which brings out the lovely honey-like color.