Making Parmesan

Opening The Cheese

To open a cheese we have an impressive collection of dangerous looking knives that we were taught to use in Italy. Each one plays a particular role in opening the wheel.

First we score a deep line all the way around the rind starting at the top, down the sides, along the bottom and back up the side again. A sharp, serrated knife is plunged into the rind at various points along the line and then one or two almond-shaped blades are used as wedges, forced into the cheese and then left for a number of minutes.

The massive wheel eventually cleaves apart naturally, slowly splitting in two along its natural grain to reveal a straw yellow paste dotted with tiny white crystals of amino acid and an amazing, sweet, lactic nose.