Italian cuisine is enormously popular in this country. But what would a delicious Pasta dish be without fresh Parmesan cheese? But if you want to serve it with the typical slices, as with the Italian, you need a cheese slicer. This allows you to plane hard and sliced cheese easily into slices of varying thicknesses.
How does a cheese slicer work?
The Girolle is specially designed for the Tête de Moine cheese, which is sold as a round loaf. It consists of a wooden plate with a pin and a hand crank. First, remove the upper bark. Then the cheese loaf is put on the pin. When the crank is actuated, a Rotation occurs, which triggers the cutting process. The cheese is finely scraped. And so the traditional rosettes are created.
The cheese cutter used for planing cut and hard cheese works slightly differently. The triangular cutter has an elongated slot in the middle, which represents the cutting surface and is very sharp. This opening is also called a cutting mouth. There are also models with two different cutting jaws. These then offer the possibility to vary the thickness of the cheese slices as required.
To remove thin slices from a cheese, take it in your left hand. Grab the cheese scraper with your right. Now put the cutting tool at the top of the cheese block and pull it down with a little pressure. If thin slices are to be formed, press gently. If they are to be thicker, more pressure must be exerted. How easy or exhausting the planning of cheese also depends on the hardness of the respective product.
Who invented the cheese slicer?
It was not Italian, as you might suppose. It was invented in 1925 by a Norwegian carpenter. The so-called Girolle should be operated with a rotating crank mechanism. But then time seemed to have stopped.
It was only when the precision mechanic Nicolas Crevoisier from the canton of Jura applied for a Patent in 1981 that the Girolle was made salonable. Since then it has been sold as a special cheese slicer for the Tête de Moine cheese produced there. In the following time, practical and handy cheese cutters or planers for various cheeses came on the market.
What needs to be considered when buying a cheese slicer?
When choosing the right cheese cutter, your preferences are very important. If you only prepare Italian dishes with fresh Parmesan cheese and buy otherwise sliced cheese, the simple cheese slicer is enough. Do you also stand on thinly sliced Gouda or Edamer from the piece as a bread coating? Then you should look for a combi version with several cutting moldings. You can then select the thickness of the discs depending on the purpose. Some models even allow step-less adjustment of the blade. Thus, the disc thickness is variable.
Are you more of a friend of soft or sour milk cheese? A cheese knife for soft cheese is the better choice. The cheese scraper is not suitable for such textures. There can also be difficulties with very hard cheese such as Emmentaler. The necessary effort often destroys the structure. The cheese crumbles or breaks. A cheese knife designed for hard cheese is more appropriate here.
Always pay attention to feel and stability. The cheese cutter must lie well in the hand and be solidly built. Advantageous models with oval, or ergonomically shaped handles. If possible, buy a cheese cutter with a residual holder. This allows you to cut small cheese scraps without hurting yourself.
A cheese slicer should also be easy to care for. Since cheese is usually greasy, the cutting tool must necessarily be made of stainless Material. Only then can it be soaked once. Cleaning in the dishwasher is also possible.
How to recognize a high-quality cheese slicer?
They are available in many different versions. We distinguish between the Girolle specially developed for the Tête de Moine cheese and the typical cheese slicer.
Wooden plate with a vertical pin in the middle. At the top of this pin is a crank, with which you set the plane in motion. The market-wide cheese cutter has the shape of a vegetable peeler. Depending on the manufacturer variant, the generally robust handle is made of easy-care plastic, stainless steel or elegant wood. In its elongated, oval or ergonomic shape, such a cheese cutter is quite grippy and lies well in the Hand. There are also seamless models. This means that the handle and cutter are made of the same material.
The cutting system of a cheese scraper consists of a wide triangle, which is rounded at the corners. Within this triangle, there are one or two elongated openings, depending on the design. These columns also called cutting mouths, are provided with thin and very sharp blades. Therefore, some products are also delivered with a finger guard or residual holder. It is intended to prevent injuries when cutting cheese residues. With some cheese slicers, the Blades are infinitely adjustable. This allows individual regulation of the disc thickness.
How to sharpen a cheese slicer?
There are two simple methods to get the Blades of cheese slicers sharp again. The first is to use an old nail file. Drive it back and forth in the cutting mouth a few times. If you have a model with multiple cutting moldings, you need to sharpen each blade in this way.
Another possibility is the aluminum Trick. Take a piece of aluminum foil at hand. Fold this a few times and slide it between the cutting surfaces. As well as with the nail file, perform a back and forth movement. This cuts the film into strips. If this happens by itself, the cheese scraper is sharp again.
Important: if you carry out the procedure with the latter method, thorough cleaning of the blades must be carried out afterward. This is the only way to ensure that no aluminum remains.