Looking to amplify your apps game? Learn how to cut cheese like a pro to present your guests with an aesthetically pleasing array of savory munchies – perfectly arranged by YOU! The following guide by a Murray’s Cheese expert includes step-by-step instructions for preparing your favorite cheese board ingredients.
Soft Cheese Wedge
For soft cheese, such blue cheese or a brie, a cheese wire or harp can be extremely useful. Simply position the harp where you want to slice and push down to create a smooth, even cut.
1. This cut works especially well for softer blue cheeses to prevent the knife from pulling the blue mold from the veins. Use cheese harp or wire to cut the triangular-shaped rind from the side of the wedge. If you don’t have a cheese wire or harp, a pairing knife will work just fine!
2. Continue to cut triangular serving size wedges. If you’re using a cheese wire, try holding the wedge in your hand as you make the cuts.
For a crisp crunch your guests will love, arrange celery sticks, crinkle cut carrots and sliced cucumber around these soft cheeses. If serving brie, try apple slices!
Blocks or Rectangles
For firm blocks of cheese, use straight perpendicular cuts to create small, thin slices. With rectangular cheeses that have a rind, such as Gruyère, each slice will have a small piece of rind on one side. This technique also works for cutting blocks with no rinds, like Pepper Jack.
1. For thick wedges, consider cutting in half for smaller individual portions.
2. Create baton or batonette (depending on thickness) pieces by cutting perpendicular to the rectangular wedge. You’ll end up with portions that have small pieces of rind on each side.
3. Cut the batonette pieces in half to get a portion that has a small piece of rind on one side.
Gruyère goes great with nuts! Scatter almonds, cashews and peanuts near Gruyère slices. Cherries pair well, too!
With cylindrical logs of cheeses, the goal is to create even-sized coins, as if you were slicing up a salami or stick of butter.
1. Create coin-shaped pieces by cutting perpendicular to the long side of the cheese log.
2. Depending on the desired serving portion, cut the round coins in half again for a moon shape or in quarters for a triangular wedge shape.
To serve, arrange log on cheeseboard, create thin or thick slices around halfway through the log to start your guests off. Include a pile of circular shaped crackers nearby for easy pairing.
For firm cheese wedges like manchego, long triangular slices are optimal. Remember to leave a small piece of rind on one side.
1. If the wedge is thick, consider cutting it in half into two smaller triangular wedges.
2. Cut the triangular rind pieces off one side of the wedge.
Sprinkle bitter foods around the wedge, including raw chocolate and broccoli rabe.
Crumbly Block or Wedge
With firm, crumbly cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano or certain varieties of cheddar, the best method is an uneven crumble that comes from chunking off small pieces from the cheese block.
1. Place the cheese wedge on its large, flat side.
2. Use one hand to hold the cheese firmly. With the pointed side down (perpendicular to the cutting board) insert your knife vertically into the cheese near the edge of the wedge. Wiggle the knife until a large crumble pulls away from the wheel. Repeat along the edge of the cheese until you get the desired amount of crumbled cheese.
Similar to Gruyère, you can pair these cheeses with tart foods such as cherries.
Mini Round Wheels
For semi-firm or soft wheels of cheese, approach them the same way you would slice a cake – starting in the middle and cutting outward into even-sized wedges.
1. Cut small triangular wedges of desired portion size from the round wheel, as if you were cutting a cake.
2. Depending on size, slice the triangular wedge into smaller wedges. Leave a piece of rind on top.
Match these minis with fruity jams, such as raspberry or apricot!
Just a few simple folds can turn thinly sliced meats into flavorful, flower-like accompaniments. Make multiple rosettes to turn your appetizer tray into a salami bouquet.
1. Fold a piece of sliced salami in half to create a half moon shape.
2. Fold again along center to create small rosettes.
Pair these rosettes with a hunk of your favorite cheese for a classic combination of unbeatable flavor.
While keeping the stem intact, make small slices to strawberries to create an impressive fan-like spread. Use as edible, colorful embellishments for your charcuterie board.
1. Using a sharp paring knife, make parallel lengthwise cuts leaving slices attached just below the hull.
2. Using your fingers or knife, gently press down on top to fan out slices. Be careful as to not break the stem.
These easy garnishes are a beautiful and tasty way to enliven any spread.