In a perfect world, there’s a knife for every type of cheese. But as we all know, reality is sometimes far from perfect! And even if you do own a set of cheese knives, chances are you might not know which knife to use for which cheese. Rest assured: you don’t have to be a cutlery expert to know how to cut fine cheese! And when all else fails, you can always use your trusty kitchen knives or other utensils.
Try these tips and tricks to sharpen your knowledge of the wonderful world of fine cheese.
See also: How to cut fine cheese
Choosing the right tools
Did you know that there are almost as many cheese cutting tools as there are types of cheese? From the perforated cheese knife to the cheese slicer, there’s a model for every taste and budget! It all depends on the type of cheese you’re dealing with.
All this to say that the choice of cutting utensil depends mainly on the consistency and texture of the cheese. Thus, a hard cheese will be better served by a thin sharp knife while a soft or runny cheese will be easier to handle with a small spatula. Your goal in all cases is to get a clean cut of the cheese.
To each cheese its own knife
Cheeses are distinguished as much by their texture as by their colour and taste. This is why each type of cheese has its own type of knife. But don’t worry if you don't have the exact knife on hand, we’ve got some tips for you
Knives for soft cheeses
Double Crème is a delicious soft surface ripened cheese. Appreciated for its creamy texture, it unfortunately has the annoying habit of sticking to utensils.
To cut it properly, use a knife with a straight and very thin blade or the traditional perforated cheese knife, with forked tips. The thin blade and presence of holes prevent the cheese from sticking to the metal.
If you don’t have a cheese knife, simply use a sharp chef’s knife that you soak in water and dry before cutting. This reduces the adhesion to the metal.
And no, dental floss is not a substitute for cheese wire.
Knives for semi-soft cheeses
Cheeses like Saint-Paulin or Havarti stand their ground thanks to their distinct taste and semi-soft texture. The good news is that their firmness makes them easier to cut than soft cheeses. The semi-firm blue veined Blue cheese also falls into this category.
When it comes to slicing either of these cheeses, use a knife with small holes in the blade to prevent the cheese from sticking to the metal.
If you don’t have such a knife on hand, rummage through your knife drawer to find a wide blade model that will slice the cheese in no time.
Knives for firm cheeses
Known as a cheese cleaver, this aptly named knife is the number one choice for cutting firm cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda or Swiss, which are easier to handle. The cheese slicer or cutter is also very useful for making perfectly even slices.
But you could just as easily use your favourite wide-bladed knife or sharp paring knife to get a clean cut.
Try this practical tip: use a vegetable peeler to cut cheese into tasty morsels!
When it comes to cheese, you can’t go wrong! Whether you’re a master of the bread knife or a fan of the Swiss army knife, simply be sure to make a clean and precise cut of your cheese and avoid using the same knife for two very different cheeses. Because Blue and Havarti Jalapeño may not mix so well! But at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of taste, isn’t it?