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How to cut cheese in France

Do you know how to cut a Camembert, a Reblochon or Brie? 

Far from being simple, cutting cheese is quite an art across France, where there are now more than 300 different cheeses. So, to make your job easier and to avoid any embarrassing situation during a big dinner, Mademoiselle Knows gives you the secrets of how to cut cheese in France. 

Round and Flat Cheeses 

Cheeses such as Camembert, are cut like cakes. We must cut the cheese from the center, cutting two lines to the edge, to make a small, sharp triangular part. 

Pyramidal and Cylindrical Cheeses 

Pyramidal Cheese 

For pyramidal and cylindrical cheeses such as Valençay, the cheese must be cut from the center to the edge over the entire height of the cheese. We start from the top to the bottom, in triangles like round cheeses. 

Square Cheese 

Square Cheese 

Square cheeses are cut in the same way, in triangular portions starting from the center to the edges. 

Original Shapes 

Heart shape Cheese 

Cheeses with original shapes are cut according to the same principle as the cheeses mentioned above: start from the center of the cheese to the edge and cut into small triangles. 

Small Round Cheeses 

Small Round Cheese 

Small round cheeses such as Crottin de Chavignol can be cut in two, if you have a good appetite, because in this case, you take half. On the other hand, if you want less, you will cut the cheese crosswise, that is to say again in half. 

Log-Shaped Cheeses 

Log-shaped Cheese 

For log-shaped cheeses, the straw is removed beforehand if there is one to be able to cut the cheese more easily. Then slice the cheese into rounds, from one side to the other. 

Peak Cheeses 


We never cut off the nose of this cheese so as not to leave the rind for the last…! We will, therefore, take care to cut the cheese into small slices parallel to the sides of the cheese and starting from the heel or else we will start by cutting small slices across the width of the cheese (but beveled) on the tip. Then at a certain point, we will cut the cheese in length to take the “heel”. 

Cut Millstone Cheeses 

For so-called millstone cheeses such as Comté, Emmental…, when you only have a portion of the complete wheel, you will have to cut the cheese into slices parallel to the crust. Then, when you reach halfway through the piece of cheese and it becomes high enough, you will have to start cutting in the other direction, that is to say, you will have to slice the heel (i.e. the piece with the crust) in two or more, depending on your appetite. 

Dutch Cheeses 

Dutch Cheese 

Portions of Dutch cheeses such as Edam, Gouda lie on their “side”. Then cut them into triangular pieces starting from the center of the tip and diagonally to the edges of the cheese. 

Blue Cheese 

As for blue cheeses exist in two different forms on which the cutting (which is generally carried out) depends. using a long knife): 
When they are in discs (like a Camembert), we cut into triangular portions from the center of the cheese. 

When they are in quarters, lay the cheese on its side and cut from the center of the thin part into triangular slices, at an angle, to the edge of the cheese. 

Finally, Parmesan, Sbrinz and other cheeses of the same type, which have a very hard paste, do not cut but “shatter” into pieces. 

Now to the knives! 

What is your favorite cheese?

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