Murray's Cut GuideWhat’s the secret to a great cheese board? It’s all about presentation! We’re here to show you how to slice, cut, and fold like a Murray’s expert. Our Cut Guide has step-by-step instructions for prepping each of your cheese board ingredients to perfection.
Spruce Wrapped Round Wheels
For spruce-wrapped wheels like Harbison or Greensward, the first step is to remove the top layer of rind, either halfway or completely.
Score the round rind on top by following the edge where the spruce wrap meets the rind. Score a semi circle If you’d like to only serve half of the wheel at this time or cut completely around if you’re serving the whole wheel.
Score along the diameter of the cheese connecting the ends of the previously cut semi circle.
Remove the half moon shape or the whole top rind to expose the creamy cheese underneath.
Tete De Moine Rosettes
In order to shave small ribbons of Tete de Moine, you’ll need a Girolle machine, which is a basic wooden tool with a crank knife that slices thin shavings of the cheese when rotated. These thin shavings can then be folded and arranged to look like small cheese flowers.
Start by cutting off the round-shaped rind off the top of the Tete De Moine wheel, exposing the paste underneath.
Set and pierce the wheel in the center, open paste side up, on top the the spike of the Girolle machine. Make sure that the wheel is completely pierced and firmly sits flat on top of the wooden base.
Connect the cutting knife portion of the Girolle machine and, using the handle, rotate it in either direction to create beautiful cheese curls.
For soft wedges of cheese, such as blue cheeses, using a tool like a cheese harp or wire is optimal--just position the harp where you want to slice and push down, creating a smooth, even cut of cheese.
This cut works especially well for softer blue cheeses where you don’t want your knife to pull the blue mold from the veins. Cut the triangular-shaped rind from the side of the wedge by using a cheese harp or cheese wire.
Continue to cut triangular serving size wedges using the cheese harp. Sometimes it helps to hold the wedge in your hand as you make the wire cuts. The wire is not sharp.
Larger Bloomies or Washed Rinds
For larger format bloomy or washed rind cheeses with soft or semi-soft textures, simply cutting even slices from the side of the wedge will result in ideal pieces that can remain intact or be cut down to smaller bits.
A soft wedge with a washed or bloomy rind just needs to be sliced from the side.
Portion the slice into smaller pieces with an equal rind-to- paste ratio.
Rectangles or Blocks
For firm blocks of cheese, straight perpendicular cuts will create small, thin slices. With rectangular cheeses that have a rind, like Gruyere, each slice will have a small piece of rind one one side. However, this cut can still be applied to rindless blocks, like Pepper Jack.
If the wedge is thick, consider cutting it in half to get smaller individual portions.
Cut 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.
Cut the batonette pieces in half to get a portion that has a small piece of rind on one side.
For soft, pyramid shaped cheeses, the optimal technique is similar to a cake cut, with large wedges then being sliced into smaller triangles.
This cut starts as if you’re cutting a small cake or muffin. Make a vertical cut by starting at the top center and ending at the base. Make another vertical cut and remove the tall wedge from the wheel.
Place the small cut out wedge its side and make parallel cuts to create serving-size portions.
With cylindrical logs of cheeses, the goal is to create even-sized coins, as if you were slicing up a salami chub or a stick of butter.
Cut coin-shaped pieces by cutting perpendicular to the long side of the cheese log.
Depending on the desired serving size, you can cut the round coins further in half for a moon shape or in quarters for a triangular wedge shape.
For firm wedges of cheese, long triangular slices are optimal, with each keeping a small piece of rind on one side.
If the wedge is thick, consider cutting it in half to 2 smaller triangular wedges.
Cut the triangular rind pieces off one side of the wedge.
Crumbly Block or Wedge
With firm, crumbly cheeses like certain cheddars or Parmigiano Reggiano, the best approach is an uneven crumble that comes from chunking off small pieces from the cheese block.
Start by placing the cheese wedge on its side which is large and flat.
Hold the cheese firmly with one hand. Insert your knife vertically with the pointed side down (perpendicular to the cutting board) 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.
Small Round Wheels
For semi-firm or soft wheels of cheese, approach it the same way you would slice a cake--starting in the middle and cutting outward into even-sized wedges.
Cut small triangular wedges of desired portion size from the round wheel as if you were cutting a cake.
Depending on size, slice the triangular wedge into smaller wedges that have a piece of rind on the top.
Alpine Wedge Cut
Big wedges of firm, nutty Alpine wheels are best served when slices into equal-sized rectangular pieces.
Make a perpendicular cut along the smallest edge of the cheese, cutting off the triangular end piece and removing it.
Make perpendicular cuts moving closer to the rind, creating rectangular slices of cheese. As the slices get larger, they can be cut in half for size purposes. Each rectangular slice should have a piece of the rind on each end.
With thinly sliced meats like salami, just a few simple folds can turn them into flower-like accompaniments. With strawberries, make small slices to the fruit while keeping the stem intact to create a fan-like sliced spread.
Fold a piece of sliced salami in half along its diameter to create a half moon shape.
Fold the piece again along the center to create small rosettes.
The trick with pâté is to gently separate the mousse from the container so it can be easily sliced.
Slide a knife around the edge of the pâté to separate the pâté from the container.
Tip the container over and gently tap it to slide the pâté out onto a clean surface.
Make small perpendicular cuts in the pâté to create even-sized rectangles with a piece of jelly on each.
With strawberries, make small slices to the fruit while keeping the stem intact to create a fan-like sliced spread.
Using a sharp paring knife, make parallel lengthwise cuts without cutting all the way through the stem.
Gently press down on top with your fingers or knife to fan out individual slices. Be careful as to not break the stem.