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Cheese EDU: Cut The Cheese, Cheese Styling Tips For Your Platters & Grazing Tables

Cheese EDU: Cut The Cheese, Cheese Styling Tips For Your Platters & Grazing Tables

As any grazing platter artist will tell you, all cheese is not created equal when it comes to slicing and presenting it for parties.  I know that I’ve experienced my fair share of attempts at slicing a cheese that was way too aged to make pretty, only to end up chunking it up into cubes in order to save it.

Depending on the type of cheese and the shape of cut you purchase, there are a variety of ways you can slice a wedge into pieces and present it on a platter for your guests.   Some are not the easiest to work with but have some good options that still allow them to look nice and bring everything together. 


Here are some tips for prepping your cheese for a graze board or platter!


  • Soft Spreadable or Fresh Cheeses

Spreadable cheeses that come in their own tub or container usually look best if you remove them and place them in a bowl or dish that has been selected for that particular engagement. Often times you can also adorn it with a garnish or edible flower to further enhance it visually.

If you have a soft cheese that doesn't come in a container, it will likely need to be sliced for serving. Soft cheeses cut best with a wire cheese slicer since the wire won’t stick to the cheese and it goes straight through in a clean way. 

Soft cheeses like goat cheese can be placed several ways.  If you get a goat cheese log for instance you can slice it into medallions and place them together similar to it’s original form so that guests can serve it with ease.  You can also do the same thing with a fresh cheese like mozzarella. 

Sliced goat cheese log  Soft spreadable cheese with olive oil 


  • Soft Rind Cheeses

The most common style of soft rind cheese that people tend to be familiar with is Brie.  What is important to note about “Brie Style” cheeses is that they won’t all slice or serve the same.  The more aged this kind of cheese becomes, the fudgier, goopier or drippy it can become.  Sometimes you may purchase a brie that is already cut into a large wedge.  Or you could purchase a small wheel that you will cut into small pieces yourself. 

The best piece of advice that I can offer when cutting any kind of soft rind cheese like this is to use a knife that has holes in the blade to prevent it from sticking to the paste and to create a cleaner cut.  

If you have a wheel, then you will want to cut it into small triangles similar to how you would cut a cake or pie.  If you are using a wedge, it would be fine to place it directly onto your board and allow your guests to make slices themselves but this isn't as common. 

 sliced brie with knife that has holes


  • Semi Soft or Firm Cheeses

Most of the time you will buy these in wedges and they make for wonderful triangle or square shaped pieces that you can place in a variety of ways.  Think younger goudas & cheddars, baby Swiss or tomma, provolone and sometimes Manchego.  

Again, using a knife that has holes in the blade will assist with keeping the knife from sticking to the paste when cutting through and will allow for a cleaner more consistent slice.  Just make sure you aim for pieces that are a bit thicker than what you would cut for a sandwich. 

Your triangles can be placed decoratively in a variety of ways.  My favorite is to arrange them so that the point of the triangle switches directions with every other piece and the stack of slices is standing on their side.  This gives it a unique appearance and also adds a degree of texture to your board. 

 Cheese wedge cut into triangles  cheese sliced like triangles


  • Semi Firm or “Some” Firm Cheeses

These are the cheeses that at first glance seem to be sliceable but usually end up cracking and crumbling slightly as you get started.  Think aged cheddars, goudas and even some younger parmesans. Our best advice? Ditch the pretty cuts and go for cubes. 

When you are serving several types of cheeses you can afford to leave the more decorative cheese styling to your other cheese types and just pile these in different places within your platter.  

You can take the rind of larger wedges and then use it as a garnish piling the cubes inside of it.  You can also allow the cubes to cascade out of something else on your table like a hollowed out loaf or a large fruit peel.  

 gouda cheese cut into cubes  cut cheese for display


  • Hard Aged or Crumbly
Think about parmesans, blue cheeses and gorgonzola.  These are the simplest because we usually just put the wedge directly on the board with a knife and allow for guests to cut this themselves.  There really isn't a pretty way to cut these so the whole piece tends to look the nicest. 

You might choose to arrange it alongside a perfect pairing and add a garnish like a piece of dried fruit, fig or flower so that it still carries the feel from the rest of your arrangement.  

cheese served whole wedges  blue cheese and tangerine spread

Prepping your ingredients is probably one of the most time consuming parts of platter building.  Finding new and unique ways to display your goodies will keep the task interesting for most cheese board hobbyists.  

Of course there are other fun things to do with many of the cheeses listed but hopefully these tips were helpful!  Keep an eye out for an upcoming article where we talk about all things BRIE because let's be real, that could be a whole book by itself! 

Until then, cheers & happy platter building! 


~love in abundance, 

Crystal @ Grazing Goddess Charcuterie 


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