How to use cheese knives

Good cheese is one of life’s simple pleasures.
Cutting cheese with the proper tool is not only a matter of style. More importantly, using the correct knife  preserves the integrity of the cheese structure and granular consistency, and enables you to enjoy its full flavor and great taste.
Firm, grainy, soft, extra sticky … every group of cheeses needs a blade that has been designed to make the most of its characteristics.
Don’t be alarmed by the long list of knives we offer, though. You can cut a vast majority of cheeses with a set of three knives – a knife for compact or hard cheeses, a knife for semi-hard cheeses and a knife for soft cheeses. All the other knives are a great complement to your essential cheese knife set.
One things is really important, though: go for quality. A premium stainless steel blade with a satin finish is important for a great cutting performance and for a limited stress on the cheese.
Find out which is the proper knife for the cheeses you love and … Buon Appetito.

NB – don’t forget to remove the cheese from the refrigerator one to two hours in advance of serving time. Cheese is best when eaten at room temperature!

Designed to deal with the natural stickiness of soft cheese, kind of knife has a very sharp, thin and narrow blade in order to reduce the stress and the pulling on the cheese and cut nice, attractive cheese slices. Sometimes the blade is not narrow and the presence of holes reduces the surface area coming into contact with the cheese . A forked tip is useful for serving slices of cheese with deft precision.Start slicing your cheese inserting the point of your knife first, then push the blade downward. It can be a good idea to moisten the blade with a damp cloth if the cheese is extra soft.
Soft cheese knives
Ideal for Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Robbiola, Stracchino, Taleggio, goat cheese, Camembert, Brie and any soft cheese, this knife works wonderfully on hard and semi-hard cheeses as well.

Knife for hard cheeses

A hard cheese knife has a broad blade with a squared tip as it needs to be thin and at the same time strong enough to cut through firm cheeses.

Cut the cheese keeping the knife parallel to the cutting board and applying a balanced and uniform downward pressure. If the pressure on the handle is not enough, you can apply some pressure on the blade spine with the other hand as well.

A hard cheese knife is ideal for Asiago, mature pecorino, mature Toma, Provolone, Piave, Sea Hive, extra mature Cheddar, Comte.

Semi hard cheese knives

Lighter than a hard cheese knife, a semi hard cheese knife is designed for cheeses that have a smooth interior with little rind. Its sharp edge is sometimes slightly curved in the middle to score the rind first.

Cut the cheese keeping the semi hard cheese knife parallel to the cutting board and apply a balanced and uniform downward pressure. If the rind is hard you can first cut into it using the knife as a saw: the curved edge will score the rind, leaving the softer interior ready to be sliced.

A semi hard cheese knife is ideal for Fontina, Emmenthal, Gruyere, Cheddar, Colby, Edam, Gouda, and many blue cheeses.

Compact cheese knife, also known as spade knife

A compact knife, also known as spade, has a short, strong, stubby blade, designed to score the rind of hard cheeses, open wheels, divide wedges and chunk them into bite sizes while keeping its structure and granular consistency.

Just like you would use a bell knife, insert the tip of the knife into the wheel and press downward until the cheese gives way. Use only the point to cut chunks.

The spade knife is ideal for Parmesan cheese, Grana Padano, Castelmagno, Vintage Gouda and mature cheeses with a hard, grainy or chalky interior.

Flat knife, trapezium knife or chisel knife

A trapezium knife or chisel knife or flat knife is most often used for cutting perfect slices or nice cubes from crumbly, hard and semi-hard cheeses that are large and thick.

Hold your flat knife vertically and push through the block of cheese in one motion.

Ideal for Provolone, semi-mature pecorino, Swiss, Gruyere and some semi hard blue cheeses.

Spatula cheese knife or spreader

Used for soft, spreadable cheeses, a spatula cheese knife or spreader is absolutely a must have. The blade is thin, flexible. No sharp edge here.

Ideal for Robiola, Stracchino, Epoisse, Brillat-Savarin and Cream cheese, of course. Great with a soft Gorgonzola, too.

Bow knife or wire cutter

A bow knife or wire cutter is convenient for cutting extra soft cheese.

Berti has drawn inspiration from a tool that was used in the poorer areas of the North of Italy, where polenta and some occasional slice of soft cheese was all that people could afford to eat. This tender food did not need a knife to be divided into portions: a string affixed to two pegs did a better and cleaner job. A more sophisticated way of using the string was to tie it to the far ends of a flexible wooden strip: the bow knife.

Ideal for Ricotta, Stracchino, Robiola, soft goat cheeses and any freshly made cheese.
Bell knife or pear-shaped knife or almond knifeCheese fork

This is a bell knife or pear-shaped knife or almond knife. Name it as you like, but make sure you have one handy when you need a heavy duty cheese knife.
A bell knife has a short, strong, stubby blade, designed to score the rind of hard cheeses, open wheels, divide wedges and chunk them into bite sizes – typically parmesan cheese – while keeping its structure and granular consistency.

Just like you would do with a compact cheese knife, insert the tip of the knife into the wheel and press downward until the cheese gives way. Use only the tip to cut chunks.

This knife is ideal for Parmesan cheese, Castelmagno, Grana Padano, Vintage Gouda, mature cheeses with a hard, grainy, chalk.

This cheese fork is a great tool to serve cheese, both hard and soft cheese.

Visit the cheese shop at GDH

 

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