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How to Cut Cheese

With the wedge lying on its flank, smaller triangular wedges emanating from the center-edge of the thinnest part of the cheese.

Like layer cake, the texture and flavor of a wheel or a piece of cheese varies throughout. The flavor is likely more intense near the rind, and the texture there will be different from that in the center of the wheel. These contrasts heighten with age. For the sake of fairness, there is a courteous and practical rule to cutting cheeses that results in a democratic distribution of both the rind and the interior of the cheese.

Although many cheeses are round or wheel-like, the following diagrams show how to cut different-shaped cheeses or wedges so that each portion offers the same gustatory experience.


Cheeses with a firm or hard paste (interior)
e.g. Cheddar, Comté, Manchego


Very small cheeses
e.g. Cabécou, Crottin, Bijou


Pyramid or cone-shaped cheeses
e.g. Piper’s Pyramide, Sumi, Valençay


Small square cheeses
e.g. Hudson Valley Camembert, Pont l’Évêque


Cheeses with a soft paste (interior)
e.g. Brie, Les Frères, St. Nectair


Cylindrical or log-shaped cheeses
e.g. Buche, Classic Blue Log, St. Maure


Small cheeses
e.g. Camembert, La Tur, Red Hawk


Blue-veined cheeses
e.g. Gorgonzola, Point Reyes Blue, Roquefort, Stilton


Cheeses in a wooden box
e.g. Epoisses, Vacherin Mont d’Or

The suggested way to serve cheeses in a box:

  1. With a small, sharp knife, insert the blade just through the top rind (about a quarter inch shy of the circumference).
  2. Cut a circle in the rind, effectively making a “lid.”
  3. Gently remove the “lid” and put it aside, wrapped in parchment paper or cling wrap. (Do not discard.)
  4. You will be left with the wonderful gooey center of the cheese that you can then spoon out as needed.
  5. If there is any cheese remaining at the end of the feast, then replace the rind “lid.” This will help preserve the cheese and keep it moist.

Kate Arding

Kate Arding is an independent dairy consultant specializing in small-scale cheese production and an original co-founder of culture: the word on cheese. A native of Britain, Kate has worked in the farmhouse cheese industry for 18 years, first as wholesale manager for Neal's Yard Dairy in London and later helping establish Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods in California. Since 2003 Kate has worked extensively both in the United States and overseas as an independent consultant, specializing in affinage, sales and marketing, and helping small-scale cheesemakers adapt to changing market demands.

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