Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Cheese

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Bethalize:
I am very fond of all my friends. I would never do anything to make them uncomfortable - instead, I will vent here. I warn you all now, however, I am liable to become cuttingly polite on this subject if challenged!

WHY do some people insist on cutting the nose off the cheese?


The things I would NEVER say to my guests

The polite way to cut cheese is to leave it as close as possible to the original shape (and state) you found it in. Please don't point the brie. Please don't cut the nose off the Stilton. That way, you get a nice big lump of the tastiest part of the cheese and someone else gets a big lump of RIND. Take your rind along with your cheese. And yes, that still applies if the rind isn't very visible. That's why there are some slices cut already when I bring it to the table.

When eating Five Counties cheese take a slice with all five counties in. You don't get to decide you fancy a bit of double Gloucester instead.

Please don't turn the block of cheddar into a dodecahedron. Just cut a straight line along the line of the cheese. I can live with you starting the perpendicular cutting a little early, but too late leaves the last person with all the rind. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Please take wedge-shaped pieces from the round cheeses such as Camembert. That way, we all get the nice inner bit as well as a teensy bit of rind. Just a little rind, it never hurt anyone and the connoisseurs claim it enhances the experience.

Please take your cheese using the prongs on the end of the knife. There's not a lot of point me giving everyone their own knives and forks if your fingers have brushed against every piece of cheese on the board.

I could forgive you picking out the pecan that was poking out of the edge of the red Leicester with pecan, but excavating the one in the centre of the block displayed a possible desperation for selenium. I'll get you a little bag of them for your own next time shall I?

There is a butter knife for the butter. The cheese knife is for the cheese. In fact, each cheese has its OWN KNIFE so you don't need to mix up the garlic roule with the white Stilton with apricot. There is a reason it's called a Stilton spoon.

I'm sorry I don't have any grape scissors. Just break off a bunch of few grapes and put them on your plate. I don't mind if you don't eat them all.

Salt goes in a little pile on the side of your plate. You dip your celery in. Sprinkling salt all down your celery stick really isn't going to work, is it? Hopefully you learnt that after the second salt-storm.

At a dinner party of eight people I am not going to insist on people passing the port in the right direction. Everyone can reach the decanter in the middle of the table. It might be different if there were twenty of us! Even so, if I am remiss enough to let your glass get within a whisker of being empty - for which I do apologise - I do prefer people to ask for things to be passed to them. I assure you, there is no need to get up at all.

bopper:
I know it is probably best to leave the cheese as uncut as possible, but may I suggest to make a few cuts in the manner that is best?  So make a few pie shape cuts in the Camembert, cut some squares from the cheddar, slice across all 5 of those counties.

BittyB:
After reading your post I am quite certain I am well out of my depth on the cheese issue (though I love cheese, the eating it part, in any fashion).  I think I have the deer in the headlights look and I'm not even at your table!  Good for you for venting here instead of to your guests though. 

artk2002:
It's Cheeeeeeeeeese Grommit! Cheeeeeeese!

sparksals:

--- Quote from: BittyB on April 30, 2007, 06:46:30 PM ---After reading your post I am quite certain I am well out of my depth on the cheese issue (though I love cheese, the eating it part, in any fashion).  I think I have the deer in the headlights look and I'm not even at your table!  Good for you for venting here instead of to your guests though. 

--- End quote ---

Me too!  I haven't heard of some of the cheeses mentioned in the OP.  I also didn't know there were such things as grape scissors or a stilton spoon.  I'm a gadget freak, I just may  have to get some!

Honestly, I'm afraid I am guilty of some of the breaches mentioned in the OP.  I didn't realize there was an etiquettely correct way to cut cheese.  Yes, I use the cheese knife provided, but sometimes it's not very easy to slice it as described in the post.

Camembert and Brie have a tendency to ooze.  I don't mind the rhind out of each of them, but sometimes it's just the way it goes. 

I'm definitely going to take some of this advice, though.  Although I've never been bothered by how the cheese is cut and  I didn't know it had to be kept in the original shape. 

Ya learn something new everyday!

Beth - I'm glad too that you vented here and not to your guests! 

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