Selecting the proper knife for slicing and serving cheese can present a challenge for even the most cultured host, and, let’s be honest, if you are serving cheese to your guests the last thing you want to appear is uncultured. Chef Pro Knives offers a selection of cheese slicing, chopping, and serving tools, as well as accessories to ensure that your wine and cheese night goes off without a hitch. From individual cheese knives and cheese spreader knives to full gourmet cheese knife sets from Wusthof, Chef Pro Knives will supply you with the best cheese knives for your kitchen. So uncork the wine and slice the bread as you read on to discover all you need to know about selecting the perfect cheese knife for your dinner party.
The beauty of cheese is the sheer number of varieties that exist, each with their own unique texture, taste, consistency, and firmness. France alone has between three hundred and four hundred distinct cheeses, more if you count local variations within these types (which you can be sure that the French do). The key to selecting the best cheese knife is identifying the consistency of the cheese. Cheese knives vary in their blade form depending on the consistency of the cheese they have to cut, so identifying the consistency of the cheese to be sliced is the most important step.
Whether a cheese is “soft” or “hard” is largely determined by the moisture content of the cheese. Moisture content is typically determined by the variety of the cheese, by the pressure under which the cheese was made, and by how long the cheese was aged.
Soft and semi-soft cheeses include brie, Camembert, Munster, Port Salut, and Havarti. Their high moisture content can cause them to stick to the wide, flat blades of knives. The best cheese knife for cutting soft and semi-soft cheeses typically have holes or grooves along the blade reducing the surface area the cheese is able to stick to. Another good choice for slicing soft cheeses would be a cheese wire, which can easily slip through the block or wheel without resistance. Finally, a cheese spreader can be used to cut and spread cheese in a smooth, fluid movement.
Cheeses that range from semi-soft to medium-hard include: Swiss Emmental, Gruyère, Comté, Gouda, Jarlsberg, and others that tend to be softer when they are younger but dry out and become firmer as they age. For these cheeses, there are general purpose cheese knives that do a good job in working through the range of moisture content of these cheeses. These cheeses can be cut fairly well with straight bladed knives and those that have an etching pattern on the blade to decrease the surface area of the blade can also help to reduce softer cheeses from sticking to the knife as you cut.
Semi-hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack are best cut with straight-bladed cheese knives like the cheeses described above. A firm blade will allow you to cut even, sure slices that look great perched atop a cracker.
For hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Romano, you may need a specialist tool. The best cheese knife for these dry, firm cheeses might be a double-handle cheese knife, a grater, or cheese knife with spokes on the tip. These spokes are used to chip away at firm cheeses, allowing it to break apart in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the natural flavor of the cheese. Many universal cheese knives will be forged with spoke-tips, giving you a multipurpose tool.
If you can’t decide which cheese knife you need the most, Chef Pro Knives offers a number of Wusthof cheese knife sets that feature an array of cheese knives for cheeses of every firmness.
Now that you know which knife to use with which firmness of cheese, you have all the knowledge you need to order the perfect cheese knife or cheese knife set for your wine and cheese night.