- French Cheeses
- Quality of cheese
- The French way of life
France produces over 300 types of cheese. Round, square, heart-shaped, pyramid-shaped, etc. From the rind to the core, the taste of a cheese is never the same. Depending on whether it is square or round, it is matured in a different way. It is generally stronger near the rind, while the texture is creamier, and at times even chalky, while the sides are more flavourful. In the light of this wide variety of shapes and textures, cutting rules have been defined in order to reap the full potential of the taste of the cheese.
You treat the cheese like a cake by starting to cut it from the centre and dragging the knife towards the outside.
Since it is not desirable to leave all the rind until the end, you do not cut the nose of the cheese. There are two solutions:
Small round cheeses can be cut in two or four.
You handle these like you would round cheeses like Camembert.
You cut these like round or square cheeses, into thin, long portions going from the very top of the cheese right to the bottom. You should be able to cut it into at least 8 portions.
You should have part of the centre and part of the rind on your plate. To do this, you start by cutting slices from the centre parallel to the rind, then, once you’ve cut half of the portion, cut the heel in the other direction, or into a fan shape.
Given their runny consistency, some cheeses must be served with a spoon. A special technique is required to serve Mont d’Or which consists in cutting 90% of the way through the upper rind of the cheese and then lifting it, like you would the lid of a tin can.
Cut into slices, having first removed the container. If the log has a straw through its centre, it’s better to remove the straw to make sure your slices do not break.
Blue cheeses in a cylindrical shape must be first sliced, and then cut like a Camembert.
Blue cheeses cut into wedges must be placed flat and cut into a fan shape from the centre of the thin part.
It can be simply broken up or cut into shavings. As for Tête de Moine, it is shaved into the shape of a rosette using a special cheese cutter.
It is important to use knives that are suited to each cheese so that the different aromas do not mix. Each knife is assessed to cut cleanly depending on the texture of the centre and shape of the cheese.
This tool is used to form a tongs with another knife in order to delicately lift a portion of soft or goat’s cheese and place it on a plate without breaking it.
The aim is to cut cheeses with a creamy, sticky texture without the cheese sticking to the long, hollow ground blade.
Examples: Coulommiers, Chaource
It is used to cut cheeses with a supple, soft and perhaps runny texture.
Examples: Maroilles, Livarot, Langres
It is used to cut flaky cheeses such as goat’s cheeses. It has a small blade that is suitable for cutting cheeses the size of goat’s cheeses.
Examples: Sainte-Maure de Touraine, Rocamadour, Pélardon
It is used to serve very creamy or runny cheeses such as Epoisses and Mont-d’Or Service with a spoon.
It is used to remove creamy cheese from the spoon and place the cheese on the plate cleanly.
This tool is used to make a tongs with another knife in order to delicately lift a portion of cooked or uncooked pressed cheese and place it on a plate without breaking it.
It is suitable for cutting hard cheeses. By placing your thumb against the part located at the end of the blade and pressing against it while you cut, it makes it easy to cut very hard cheeses such as Mimolette extra aged, Parmesan, Beaufort and Comté
This is a knife with a long blade that is used to slice large cheeses with a relatively hard centre.
Examples: Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, Morbier
This tool is used to remove the portion of blue-veined cheeses from the knife in order to place it on the plate without breaking it.
This knife with its wide blade is used to slice fragile blue-veined cheeses to ensure they do not crumble.
Examples: Roquefort, Bleu des Causses, Fourme de Montbrison.
This is mainly used to slice goat’s cheese or other soft, fragile cheeses that come in small sizes. The lyre’s wire is used to slice crumbly, moist cheeses cleanly and without breaking them.
It means gently cutting off the end pieces of the cheese to make it look freshly sliced.