How To Cut Fine Cheese
Did you know that how a fine cheese is cut is just as important as how it tastes? Indeed, fine cheese reveals its true character when properly cut! Where one cheese is best sliced, another is better in wedges, and this is where the cut becomes important. But dont worry, its easy to learn! Knowing a few basic rules will let you fully enjoy the fine cheese experience and flavours.
Become a cheese cutting expert thanks to these tips and tricks.
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Focus On The Surface Area Of Your Cut
You might be surprised to know that the way you cut cheese can also affect its flavor.
The more surface area there is with your cut, means more flavor to the cheese. When you cut cheese into cubes, there is only a small surface area of flavor that hits your tongue. With a large surface area, you can make the most out of the flavor.
One way that you can do this is to opt for thin wedges and wider slices to enhance each bite.
Soft Triangular Shaped Cheese
Brie de Meaux, Stinking Bishop. Ideally everyone should get a piece of the nose from a slice of Brie, but its not a practical way to cut this gooey cheese. Instead, take one slice from the nose, then you can make several long cuts from the edge towards where the nose used to be, ensuring everyone gets a bit of goo.
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How To Cut Triangle Cheese
Follow these steps to cut cheese into triangles:
Triangles are a classic way to serve cheese. They work well with most semi-firm cheese types like Cheddar, Swiss, and Gouda.
How To Cut Wedges Of Cheese
For larger wheels that have been portioned into wedges, cutting is pretty simple. The skinny end of the wedge comes from the center of the cheese, and the wide end includes the rind, so its easy to ensure each piece includes a good cross-section.
Use a good hard cheese knifelike a chefs knife, a skeleton knife, or a utility knifeto portion cheeses like Green Dirts Prairie Tomme or these aged goats milk wheels from Boston Post Dairy. Lay the wedge down on one of its cut sides, then trim off the top and bottom rinds. Next, cut through the wedge to create even, triangle-shaped slices with the rind on one end.
If youre working with very firm, crystalline cheeses aged for more than a year like Vermont Shepherds Queso Invierno Extra Aged, skip the slices and serve wedges whole for guests to portion themselves . You can also place the wedge on your board, then chunk the paste yourself, leaving the rind intact so that its framing the pieces of cheese.
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More Cheese Cutting Thoughts
Aside from learning how to cut cheese without it sticking, there are also some other things to think about. This includes why cheese sticks to knives in the first place and if you can cut cheese with something other than a knife? It’s important to be able to answer any questions that arise while working through a problem.
Enjoying Your Cheese Matters Most
How you cut up cheese is important, but whats more important, Polowsky says, is preserving its quality. The only wrong way would be cutting it up way ahead of time, he says.
Light and oxygen are cheeses biggest enemies. Oxygen, catalyzed by light, reacts with fat molecules and other compounds, like beta-carotene, in cheese, and can cause it to discolor and take on a plastic or cardboard-like flavor. Once cut, the countdown starts and the cheese will lose its quality with each passing minute.
Cheese is easier to cut when its cold, because thats when its less sticky, but you should never serve it straight from the refrigerator because cold temperature can mask the flavor. Instead, and as a general rule, Polowsky recommends leaving it out at room temperature for an hour or so before serving.
How long cheese maintains its optimal flavor after cutting depends on its type. Firmer cheeses, like cheddar, will last up to a week in the fridge, while softer cheeses, like brie, may only last a day or two.
And, unless youre breaking down massive wheels of cheese, Polowsky says you dont need a special set of tools to cut up and serve cheesejust a sharp knife, or even unflavored dental floss in place of a cheese wire to slice softer cheese.
Cutting guidelines help you get the most out of your favorite cheeses, but even if youre not sure, you shouldnt take things too seriouslyeating cheese is all about enjoyment.
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Who Cut The Cheese
How many of you have asked during that one unpleasant time
Who cut the cheese?
And then laughed because it was all silly and the room started smelling all bad and stuff.
I mean, weve all been there. Weve all said that at one time or another.
But what if i were to dismiss all the toot talk and share a tip that really does cut the cheese??
Soft Cheeses In A Point
If there ever was a cheese controversy, this is it. Soft cheeses that end in a point can either be cut like the hard cheese version above, or they can be sliced length-wise.
One school of thought says you should never cut off the point, while the other school of thought says cutting lengthwise is impractical and leads to an unwieldy portion of cheese.
A debate topic for your next apéro get-together?
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Place Gingerly On Morsel Of Bread Devour
Now that you have successfully cut the cheese, it is important to distribute your slice on the flavor vehicle of choice. You can do better than just a Triscuit. Invest in some good French bread. Enjoy it straight up, on a roll. Spreading the cheese, however, is a big faux pas.
As French epicure and gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, A dessert without cheese is a beauty who misses an eye. And as we say, Cheese cut incorrectly is still delicious”.
Suck it, France.
Carrie Dennisis a writer for Thrillist Media Group and won’t hesitate to break all the rules when it comes to eating Camembert. Follow her to all kinds of other cheese on Twitter.
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Ways To Slice Blue Cheese Wedges
Most cheese wedges come in the shape of a wheel or pyramid. In such shapes, its easy to cut in smaller sizes. Here, the good news is you can use a sharp knife. Just place the tip at the center of the cheese and cut according to the desired width. Also, you can cut the whole wheel into half, then cut each portion into half until you get the required width. I like this way because it gives me even a portion of all pieces. Usually, I prefer to keep it 1 to 2 inches thick before presenting.
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Im Talking About The Best Tip Ever For Slicing Soft Cheeses
I so wish I could take the credit for this great quick tip, but truth is, Ive seen several chefs post this tip that I thought its so good, I must share it, too!
Randomly, it has to do with dental floss.
Have you ever cut a soft cheese, and the cheese stuck to your knife and ended up looking like a flat disc rather than the its original rounded shape? And P.S., it has nothing to do with how sharp the blade of your knife is.
This happens simply because the cheese is soft. The proteins of the cheese stick to the steel of the knife blade, causing it to squish down with the pressure of the knife cut. Most cheese knives are designed for the cheese proteins to slide off the steel, but not really the case here. Now, I dont mean to get all physics on you, but this is the reason why even a sharp knife cant really cut though soft cheeses.
My Friends, Dental Floss Is The Answer
This is not only a time saving tip, but GENIUS as well.
Lie your soft cheese on a flat surface. In this example, Im using herbed goat cheese.
With unflavored, waxed, dental floss, hold taut with both hands and slice through / down the cheese, creating a perfect, even cut. Wipe off any cheese residue on the floss, and press through the cheese again.
And again, until youve cut all the cheese you want.
Tip : The Rind Needs To Remain Intact
The flesh of the cheese is obviously what most people are after, but if you want to create a proper cheese platter and provide your guests with a more authentic experience, you also need to pay attention to the rind.
The rind is an important part of the cheese. It provides a textural element that complements the flesh very well and that is particularly true when it comes to creamy cheeses.
You dont have to keep a huge chunk of rind on the slice of cheese. Just include enough of it so that the diner can understand what it brings to the table, or the platter in this case.
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When In Doubt Make It A Wedge
Cutting soft cheese into a wedge is your best bet to help keep the contents together and make it look presentable.
With a wheel of cheese, a wedge is also the easiest way to get proper portions so that they can be evenly dispersed as a sharing platter. Depending on the consistency of the cheese, you can gauge the thickness of the wedge. With a super soft cheese like brie, you can make thicker wedges, while a semi-soft cheese like Havarti can be cut into thin wedges.
There are handy soft cheese cutters that can help you achieve the perfect wedge cut and avoid crumbling.
What Knife Is Best For Cutting Cheese
This is another question where you have to know what type of cheese you’re dealing with. There are many different cheese knives to match the many different types of cheese. Some knives cut soft cheeses well, and some the harder types of cheese.
Other knives are meant more for spreading than actual cutting. For a more comprehensive guide to the different cheese knives, k try this article What Kind Of Knife Is Best For Cutting Cheese?
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What Drink To Serve With A Cheese Platter
Wine is always a favorite for us when serving a cheese board. However, there are several fantastic cocktails that go great with cheese as well, especially sangria. Here are a few cocktail ideas that will pair nicely with cheese platters:
Fall Sangria with Apple Cider The most perfect cocktail to serve with a seasonal fall cheese platter.
Floral Sangria Recipe Fun for a bridal shower or baby shower.
Red Sangria Recipe Great for holidays.
Black Sangria Recipe This goes really well with our Halloween charcuterie board.
Aperol Spritz Perfect for a summer gathering.
Mix and Match Garden Bar This is a fun party theme that would go perfectly with cheese platters.
How To Cut Blocks Of Aged Cheese
Its tempting to cut a simple block of cheese into a bunch of little cubes, deli tray style. But this isnt the best way to cut cheese.
To get the most flavor out of each piece of cheese we eat, we need to increase the surface area. Thinner, wider slices are the best way to do this. Cubes, on the other hand, minimize the surface that hits our tongue when we first pop a piece of cheese in our mouths.
Luckily, breaking down blocks of cheese is easy to do with a chefs knife or skeleton knife. Simply slice the cheese into eighth-inch-thick planks, cutting those planks into smaller rectangles as needed. You can also cut rectangular-shaped slices diagonally in half to create triangles.
For very firm, dry cheeses that come in blocks, smooth slices may be out of the question. In that case, use a Parmesan knife or narrow plane knife to break the cheese into rustic-looking chunks before serving.
Once all your cheese has been cut, sliced, or chunked, youre ready to assemble your cheese board! Check out our ultimate cheese board guide for tips on how to make your board beautiful and delicious.
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What Is The Best Way To Slice Block Cheese
There are many different fun shapes that you can cut block cheese into. This is usually very attractive for all types of parties and events. However, if you want simply cut nice slices of cheese, then that is simpler.
The first thing is to decide how big you want the slices to be. You can first cut the whole block of cheese in half vertically or horizontally if you want small slices. Then simply cut even slices until the block is gone.
How To Cut Cheese For Charcuterie
For a charcuterie board platter, youll want to cut the cheese into small pieces or cubes. The size of the cube will depend on the type of cheese and your personal preference. For harder cheeses like cheddar, use a sharp knife to cut the cheese into 1/2-inch cubes. Use a fork to flake the cheese into smaller pieces for softer cheeses like brie.
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Ways To Cut Crumbly Cheese
Whether the cheese is soft or hard, you can use a cabana knife to make the perfect crumbly pieces. They are usually wide and designed in the shape of a bell. The best part of these knives is they are not sticking to the cheese. Apart from crumbling, you can also use the knife to create big chunks if needed!
Types Of Cheese Knives
According to dining etiquette, a cheese knife should not be used on more than one cheese type on your cheese board. Each cheese knife performs a purpose and was built to preform it well. Here is a list of common cheese knives organized from soft cheese knives to hard cheese knives. We also go through how they are used and some cheeses you can pair them with.
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Tips For Preserving Cheese Well
Dont buy too much cheese at a time:
There are so many types of cheeses, but you may not always find the one that works best.
Chefs have a habit of buying in large quantities to use them over time when they encounter rare or frequently used cheeses.
However, this is not a good way to preserve the cheese.
Cheeses cut into pieces no longer retain their original flavor, especially when they are brought back and broken down into smaller pieces, the quality will also suffer later.
Use a separate knife for each type of cheese:
If you have a variety of cheeses and want to cook them for your different dishes at the same time, do not use knives with them for different types.
It sounds ridiculous, but in fact, the taste can be altered by you.
Do not use plastic to wrap cheese:
Cheese is a raw food because it contains so many types of live yeast and they are still fermented every day.
Therefore, wrapping the cheese with the plastic film will be lost in the oxygen source. Creates an environment with ideal humidity for bacteria to live and grow.
This makes cheeses coated with plastic film more susceptible to mold. You even have to get rid of a large block.
Ideally, you should store the cheese in a separate tray, or replace the plastic film with parchment paper is also a good idea.
Store in refrigerator freezer:
This method of preservation should only be applied to certain hard and long-fermented cheeses such as Parmigiano.
Do not use cheese shavings thin:
Why The Right Cheese Cut Is Important
Cheese comes in all sizes, shapes and textures. In fact, its the shape and texture of a cheese that determine how it should be cut and ultimately eaten. This means that a runny cheese wont be cut the same way as a hard cheese simply because of their very distinct characters.
For certain fine cheeses, the cut not only affects the taste but the texture as well. Heres how to cut each cheese to unleash its full flavour.
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Using A Cheese Wire Cutter
Hard cheeses are not all that youll be slicing. There are also, just as delicious, soft cheeses ready to be chomped down. Cheese planes dont work as well on these cheeses, so in this case, a wire cutter will get you a much better result.
The Bellemain Adjustable Thickness Cheese Slicer is one of the highest-rated and most popular cheese wire cutters available in the market. This one has a great adjustable setting for slicing at your desired thickness, it has a one-year warranty, and its great value for quality. Its also fully stainless steel which is a good sign that it will last for a while.
Wire cutters work amazingly on medium and soft cheeses, but sometimes dont have the strength for hard cheeses.