No dinner or cocktail party is complete without a good cheese board or charcuterie board. But how do you cut cheese to look more elegant and appealing?
There are no hard and fast rules for creating a cheese plate, but you can impress your guests by serving a variety of flavors and textures. It's also important to arrange and spread out the cheese varieties in a way that will create a balanced look. To do this, first, you need to cut them properly. Don't worry! Cutting cheese of any shape or size will become easy with the right knife and some practice.
Here's how to cut different cheeses, so it will taste and look it's best.
Logs of very soft cheese can sometimes be cut. It's best to serve them whole with a spreader or soft cheese knife and let guests cut their pieces. However, if you want to pre-portion, the easiest way is to use a thin-bladed soft cheese knife or cheese wire to slice each log into several uniform rounds.
Soft Wheels of Cheese
For small, whole wheels of cheese, imagine you're slicing up a birthday cake. To get the best results, use a skeleton knife or a knife with a thin blade. If the cheese is too gooey and liquid inside to cut, just cut through the top rind as if opening an aluminum can, peel it back, and let your guests dig in!
Valençay-style cheeses should be cut into equal quarters from the top down. Next, place each quarter flat on your cutting board and slice into quarter-inch-thick pieces by cutting through the rind. With this technique, each piece will have a roughly equal rind-to-paste ratio.
Wedges of Cheese
Cutting is relatively easy for larger wheels that are divided into wedges. Start by laying the wedge down on one of its cut sides. Then, trim the top and bottom rinds using a good hard cheese knife. After that, cut the wedge into even, triangle-shaped slices with the rind on one end.
Blocks of Aged Cheese
To break down blocks of cheese, grab a chef's knife or skeleton knife and slice the cheese into eighth-inch-thick planks, cutting those planks into smaller rectangles as needed. You can also make triangles by cutting those rectangular slices in half diagonally. For very firm and dry cheese blocks, smooth slices may not be possible. The best way is to use a Parmesan knife or narrow plane knife to break the cheese into rustic-looking chunks before serving.
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