Here at Makers & Brothers, we don’t like to overcomplicate things. A piece of cheese, a chunk of bread, a happy camper. What we’ve found, though, is that even the simplest tasks take on a special meaning when you have the right tools. A single cheese, for example, hosts a variety of flavours, and getting the most out of a cheeseboard really requires the right implements.
Our new set of cheese knives was designed by Anna and Gianfranco Gasparini to preserve the taste and texture of your favourite cheeses. Never ones to pass up an excuse for cheese, we assembled our own Irish selection to put them through their paces, from a soft brie to a mature cheddar.
We began with an unusual brie, Curranstown Blue, that balances a creamy, mild taste with a blue sharpness. Every slice offers up a visual map of changing flavours, beautifully preserved by the knife. The distinctive shape of the blade minimises its contact with the cheese, and the extra thickness steadies it whilst separating the slices, ready to be eaten.
More than just a knife, this tool for serving semi-soft cheeses has a second function: the slanting lip of the blade allows the cheese to be cut and offered in the same motion. We chose a family favourite, Milleen, which has a distinguished, wrinkled rind. The interior delivers on this quiet promise, and true to the Gasparinis’ word, we were able to taste distinctly different flavours from the chalky middle to the sharper edge.
“Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese”
Semi-hard cheeses are so versatile and come in many kinds – we love the smoky flavour of Knockanore, with its cheesy bacon-ness. A firm hand is required when slicing, moving downwards like a guillotine blade, and using the wedge-shaped tip of the knife to separate the portions. A smooth motion, and one we could repeat endlessly, treating ourselves to slice after slice of this exceptional cheese.
More likely to crumble than slice, a knife for hard cheeses has to be multi-purpose. Part chisel, part knife, it can be used to tackle anything from an aged parmesan to a mature cheddar, our personal choice to complete the board. This cheddar, 15 Fields, is named for the land the cows graze on, and the sharp taste reflects this, balanced with earthy, sweet aromas particular to its origin.
“Our aim was to create a knife set for the amateur cheese connoisseur”
The importance of a sharp blade and a balanced handle cannot be emphasised enough; as we dove into this spread, the knives quickly demonstrated their true purpose: minimising the obstacles between hand, cheese, and mouth. As the board quickly diminished, we ruled the knives a unanimous success.
Quote by Luis Buñuel
Quote by Anna and Gianfranco Gasparini