If you promised to bring a cheese board to your next dinner party, don’t panic! We have some tricks of the trade to make you look like a cheese pro.
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.
Firm cheeses like Gruyère, Comté, Manchego, and clothbound cheddar
Pyramid-shaped cheeses like Valençay and Capriole Goat Cheese Piper’s Pyramide
Log-shaped cheeses like Bûche de Chèvre and Westfield Farm Classic Blue Log
Soft cheeses like brie and St. Nectaire
Small, square cheeses like Pont l’Évêque and the Grey Barn and Farm Prufrock
Small, round cheeses like Crottin de Chavignol and Vermont Creamery Bijou
Got a cheese with a wooden container or wrapping?
This wheel is likely super-duper soft—don’t slice it as you would a regular wheel. Instead, run a dull knife under and around the top rind and remove it to create a “lid.” Dunk crackers and breadsticks directly into the exposed paste. If you have leftover cheese, place the “lid” back in its place to keep the paste moist and store as normal.