Just as storing and serving techniques vary from cheese to cheese – as we’ve detailed in previous articles – so does your cutting technique.
For best results, choose your utensil based on the type of cheese you’re serving. Knives and slicers come in several shapes and styles, and each is intended for a specific type of fromage.
For medium hard to medium soft cheeses like Fol Epi, use wire cheese slicers for thick slices. These utensils have sturdy handles with a wire across the top that makes even slices. If using a cheese plane (or cheese slicer), the thickness of your slices will depend on the angle at which you’re holding it and the pressure you exert on the cheese.
For crumblier cheeses, such as a Roquefort and other blue cheese – use wide, rectangular knives for perfect slices. Open-surfaced blades are also good as its holes prevent the cheese from sticking to the blade, ultimately helping to maintain the structural integrity of each slice.
Non-stick and hollow-bladed knives should be used for soft ripened cheese like Brie, as these utensils keep the slices from sticking to the blade. Narrow rectangular knives also work well. Two-tined knives also can be used to cut these types of cheese, with the prolonged end used for serving.
Cheese knives are usually made with short or narrow blades. The knives with narrow blades may have a fork type tip that can be used to move pieces that have already been cut.
When slicing always try to cut in one fluid motion and avoid sawing away at the cheese. Rock the knife back and forth if the cheese will not leave the blade.
Hard cheeses are best cut with tear-shaped cheese knives. Simply insert the tip of the knife and apply downward pressure. Once split, these types of cheese will generally crumble into chunks.
A few more things to remember when cutting cheese:
* Use one clean knife per cheese, and never use the same knife for several cheeses. Cheese is very sensitive and can adopt the aroma and flavors of other cheeses.
* Only cut the portions before serving to prevent the integrity of the cheese.