Before we start making jokes about who cut it, let’s ask something a bit more pertinent and a whole lot more mature– that is, how did they cut the cheese? We all know taste is most important, but presentation comes in second when putting together a cheese plate for guests. You’ll want your slices clean and even, with a bit of rind and paste on each. No one wants to be left with the measly piece of brie that’s too small to support a spoonful of chutney.
When it comes down to it, your cheese’s shape and consistency will determine the appropriate cutting method. John Eats Cheese breaks down cheese types into seven categories– square and round, pyramids, semi-firm to hard wedges, soft wedges, logs, blue cheeses, and box cheeses– and provides some helpful diagrams on how to cut each type. “For cheeses that come in boxes like Epoisses, or St. Marcellin, you cut a circle in the top and remove that piece. You scoop out and eat the cheese as if it were a bowl,” he writes. Sounds like one hell of a lunch.
Your cheese-cutting utensil could also determine the success of your slices. Ide de France recommends wire slicers for medium soft to medium hard cheeses, non-stick knives for soft-ripened cheese, and offers a solution for how to keep those pesky blues from falling apart:
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.
Perhaps you’re more of a visual learner. In that case, check out our instructional video: How to Cut Cheese Like a Pro.
If you’re still ending up with odd geometries and gooey messes, don’t get too stressed out. In the end, delicious cheese is delicious cheese, no matter which way you slice it.