Why You Should Always Use a Different Knife for Each Cheese on Your Board

When you’re putting out a couple of tasty wedges on a cheese board, how many knives do you reach for? A soft cheese knife, a hard cheese knife, and one of our new black resin knives, perhaps?

Oh. Just one? Hmm. 

Hey, we get it. When it’s just you and the cheese, no guests or special occasion, it might feel silly to use a bunch of different knives. Plus, we’re always looking for a way to minimize the number of dishes we have to wash, right? Busting out a separate knife for each cheese can seem extravagant. 

But there are good reasons to use the right knife for the right cheese and designate a knife for each variety on your board. You wouldn’t be too happy if you ordered a martini at a bar and it was served to you in a pint glass, right? The proper tools matter. 

Here’s why you should always use a separate knife for each cheese on your charcuterie board. 

To avoid cross-contamination.

use a separate knife for each cheese on your charcuterie board

This one is technically two reasons—one that comes into play while you’re enjoying your board and another that can impact your cheese further down the line. 

Obviously, you don’t want to dig into a delicate chevre log with a knife covered in blue cheese residue, as you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the flavor of the chevre. So rather than washing or wiping down the same knife after each use, simply give each cheese its own knife. 

But cross-contamination between cheeses can affect more than flavor. Let’s say you cut that chevre with a knife you just used for blue cheese. You wrap up the leftovers and stash them in your Grotto, then pop it in the fridge. You forget about things for a few days, and oh dear, that blue mold has started to grow into your goat cheese! 

This tragedy could have been prevented by designating a knife for each cheese. And it’s even more important to use a clean knife for each cheese if you’re prepping cheese in advance.

That’s why we love our writable black resin cheese knives. Each one comes with a piece of soapstone chalk so you can write the name of the cheese it’s meant to cut right on the knife! Just wash it off and the knife is ready to be used (and labeled) again next time. How cool is that?

Because each type of cheese knife has a specific purpose. 

parmesan and a parmesan knife

 

Just as you wouldn’t use a butter knife to cut a carrot, you wouldn’t use a Brie knife to cut Parmesan—it just isn’t the right tool for the job. While some soft cheese knives and hard cheese knives can work well with multiple styles and textures, there’s a reason cheese knife sets tend to come with at least three very different-shaped utensils. Pair the proper knife with each cheese to ensure clean, uniform cuts in the perfect size, every time. 

Because it gives you an excuse to build your cheese gear collection. 

If you’re anything like us, you love using cheese-specific utensils and kitchen tools—and we’ll take any opportunity to add to our arsenal of knives, spreaders, pickle forks, storage solutions, and servingware! In addition to avoiding cross-contamination and using the right tool for the right cheese, geeking out a bit about cheese knives is fun. Plus, it makes your beautiful cheese boards look even better when they’re styled with the appropriate utensils. 

We hope you’ll take this advice the next time you’re preparing to enjoy a few tasty wedges. Need to up your cheese gear game? Check out our cheese knife sets, servers, slates, and Grottos here.


What are your favorite knives and other cheese-specific equipment? Tag us in your cheese board pics @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and let us know!

Alexandra Jones is a writer, cheesemonger, and food educator who has been working with farmers and artisans in Pennsylvania for the past eight years. She has written for publications like Food & Wine, USA Today, The Counter, Civil Eats, Thrillist, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is one-third of the team behind Collective Creamery, a women-powered artisan cheese subscription based in southeast Pennsylvania. Alexandra leads cheese tastings and teaches cheesemaking classes in and around Philadelphia, and we are honored to have her on our team.

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