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Block Cheese

Whether they have rinds or not, firm blocks like Gruyère and some Cheddars do well with straight perpendicular cuts to create snackable slices. We'll show you how.

Big wedges of firm Alpine wheels are best served when sliced into equal-sized rectangular pieces with rind on both ends.


Make a perpendicular cut along the smallest edge of the cheese, cutting off the triangular end piece and removing it.


Continue to make perpendicular cuts, moving from one side of the block to the other, creating pick-like slices of cheese. Slices can can be cut in half for size purposes. Each slice should have a piece of the rind on each end.

For firm blocks of cheese (although not for cheeses that are crumbly like very aged Cheddars and Parmigiano Reggiano), straight perpendicular cuts will create small, thin slices. This works for rindless blocks like pepper jack or those with a rind, like Gruyère, which will have a small piece of rind on both sides of each cut piece.


If the wedge is thick, consider cutting it in half to get smaller individual portions.


Cut baton (½ -inch) or batonnet (¼ -inch) slices by cutting perpendicular to the rectangular wedge. If your cheese has a rind, you’ll end up with portions that have small pieces of rind on each side.


Cut the pieces in half to get a portion that has a small piece of rind on one side.

With firm, crumbly cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and certain Cheddars, the best approach is chunking off small pieces from the cheese block to create uneven, textured crumbles.


Start by placing the cheese wedge or block on the side that's large and flat.


Hold the cheese firmly with one hand. Insert your knife into the cheese vertically with the pointed side down (perpendicular to the cutting board) near the edge or tip of the cheese. Only insert your knife in part of the way—you don't want to go all the way through to the cutting board. Wiggle the knife until a large crumble pulls away. Repeat along the edge of the cheese until you get the desired amount.