How to Cut Cheese for a Charcuterie Board: The Perfect Pairings

Creating a charcuterie board is akin to crafting a work of art; it's not just about the flavors and textures but also about the visual appeal. Cheese, a staple component of any charcuterie board, plays a crucial role in this masterpiece.

Cutting cheese for a charcuterie board is more of a calculated art than meets the eye. It involves understanding the type of cheese, the best way to cut it for both aesthetic and practical purposes, and how it pairs with other elements on the board. In this blog, we'll guide you through the art of cutting cheese for your charcuterie board, ensuring your next spread is both beautiful and delicious.

Know Your Cheese

Before you start slicing, it's important to identify the types of cheese you'll be including on your board. Typically, a well-balanced board features a variety of textures and flavors, such as a soft cheese (Brie or Camembert), a semi-hard cheese (Cheddar or Gouda), a hard cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino), and a blue cheese (Gorgonzola or Roquefort). Each type of cheese has its own best practices for cutting, which we'll delve into.

Soft Cheeses: Wedges and Spreads

Soft cheeses can be tricky to cut due to their creamy texture. For cheeses like Brie and Camembert, cut small wedges as you would a cake, using a cheese wire or a thin, sharp knife to avoid crushing them. You can also simply place the whole round of cheese on the board with a cheese knife, allowing guests to spread the cheese onto crackers or bread themselves.

Semi-Hard Cheeses: Cubes and Slices

Semi-hard cheeses are versatile and can be cut in various ways. For a more rustic look, consider cutting them into cubes. For cheeses like Cheddar and Gouda, first cut slices from the block, then cut these slices into smaller squares. This size is perfect for easy grabbing and pairing with meats and crackers. Alternatively, you can cut thin slices using a cheese plane or knife, which are ideal for layering on top of bread.

Hard Cheeses: Crumbles and Shards

Hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino are best enjoyed in smaller, bite-sized pieces that reveal their crystalline texture and concentrated flavor. To achieve this, use a cheese knife or even a regular kitchen knife to chip off shards or crumbles. These irregular shapes add visual interest to your board and are perfect for nibbling.

Blue Cheeses: Wedges and Crumbles

Blue cheeses are often strong in flavor and creamy in texture, with veining throughout. Cut these cheeses into small wedges or break them into crumbles. If you're presenting a wedge, consider pre-cutting a few slices to encourage guests to try it, as the bold flavor can be intimidating for some. Crumbles are excellent for sprinkling over honey or pairing with fruits on the board.

Presentation Tips

  • Contrast and Accessibility: Arrange the cheeses on your board with contrast in mind—place dark cheeses next to lighter ones, soft next to hard. Ensure each cheese is easily accessible without guests having to maneuver around other items.
  • Labeling: Consider labeling the cheeses, especially if you're including unusual or strong-flavored varieties. This helps guests navigate their choices and encourages them to try new flavors.
  • Tools: Provide the right tools for the job. Soft cheeses might need a spreader, while hard cheeses require a sturdy knife. Including these tools will make it easier for your guests to enjoy the board without struggle.


Cutting cheese for a charcuterie board is an art that enhances the eating experience to make each bite a discovery of flavors and textures. By selecting a variety of cheeses and cutting them in ways that highlight their best qualities, you can easily elevate your charcuterie board from a simple snack to a culinary journey. Remember, the goal is to invite exploration and enjoyment so don't be afraid to get creative with your presentation. With these tips in hand, your next charcuterie board is sure to impress and delight your guests.