The cheese slicer is a thing that I always figured I could live without.  I’ve been aware of their existence for as long as I could remember, and I’ve seen various different types: some with wires, some that are hand-held, some combined with cheese boards…

I think all these intricacies led me to believe that a cheese slicer was just a luxury item that I could live without.  With a good knife, steady hands, and some patience, I should be able to slice cheese as thick or thin as I want, without any of these fancy trinkets.

…at least that’s what I always thought.

Then one fateful day, I saw a particular cheese slicer in action, and I was fairly impressed at the results.  The owner of that cheese slicer let me have a go and from that point, I knew that my old way of slicing cheese with a knife was the inferior method.  Even still, I didn’t immediately buy a cheese slicer. I still had it in my mind that a good one would be too expense to justify.

Most items that enter into my kitchen inventory need to be dishwasher safe and serve multiple purposes, or else be absolutely amazing to the point that I don’t think they’re just taking up space most of the time.  I think most cheese slicers would be fine in the dishwasher, but they definitely feel like uni-taskers.

Further down the road, I got into a conversation about gift ideas and the idea of a cheese slicer came up again.  This was the turning point that blew me away though. I thought that it would be ridiculously expensive for a good quality cheese slicer…and it wasn’t.

When researching the different options, I knew right away that I did not want one with a built in cutting board.  I have enough cutting boards and some look quite nice, certainly nice enough to throw together a pretty cheese platter, so I focused in on hand-held options.

I didn’t want one that had a wire.  Maybe they’re decent, but I’d still be concerned with:

      1) Cleaning the wire
      2) The wire breaking

That led me to find this one right here, the Boska Copenhagen Cheese Slicer:

In searching around, I thought it would be best to get a cheese slicer that was one solid piece, but I soon realized that most were manufactured with the handle and cutting head as separate pieces.  I settled on this one since it had good reviews, looked solid, and in fact ended up being the same kind of one that I originally tried.

Here are a few additional comments:

      1) I haven’t been disappointed with this cheese slicer.  Even though the head and handle aren’t one continuous piece, I have no doubt that this will stay together and stay solid.  (I had a bad experience with several cheap ice cream scoops so perhaps I’m a little overly concerned with a weak attachment joint. Ice cream scoop blog linked “here“.)

      2) I really realized the difference between the old knife method and new cheese slicer when tackling a triangle wedge of gouda.  After doing some research, I learned that there are indeed several different types of cheese slicers to cover a varying range of cheese types.  Cheeses come in different hardnesses and shapes. I found some other neat slicers that would probably work great for other cheeses, but wouldn’t be suited for a wedge of gouda.

Note: I enjoy grilled cheese or “cheese toasties” using the toaster oven instead of a frying pan.  In either case, I’ll eat the standard “American Cheddar” or marble cheese, but my preferred cheese of choice is Cumin-Spiced Gouda…and that is by a long margin.  Gouda in general has some great flavour, but selecting one with spices (my preference being the Cumin), really ups the grilled cheese game. The great benefit of using a cheese slicer instead of the old knife method is that you can get uniformly-sized slices of cheese, which is critical for equal meltiness distribution.  Back when I used the knife, all the slices were inconsistent which only yielded an “okay” end result.

      3) You can get gouda sliced in the store.  Sometimes I still get the cheese shop to use their industrial machine to give me perfectly sliced pieces of gouda.  Even still, my interest in having my own cheese slicer at home persisted. Not every place I buy cheese from has a slicer and I don’t always want my cheese sliced right away.  As soon as it’s sliced, there is more surface area and the life-span of that cheese is significantly lessened. Slicing it yourself at home helps it last much longer than getting it pre-sliced in store.

      4) I’m pretty sure that I can dishwash my cheese slicer, but I don’t.  It’s very easy to give it a quick rinse with a small dot of dish soap, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

      5) This particular model is the 357600 Copenhagen version.  Boska has another similar looking one called the Holland 307063 version.  I think the only difference is a slight change in shape. I liked the look of the Copenhagen one and it cost a bit less so I went with that one and it has suited me well.

So the question is, do you need a cheese slicer?  The answer, like most things in life is “no” you don’t need it.  However, if you ask yourself if having one will make your life easier, then “yes” certainly pick one up.  I’ve enjoyed using mine primarily for goudas, but I also use it for block cheese like cheddar or marble.  When browsing cheeses in the store, I used to worry about wasting a bunch by cutting thick slices (with the old knife method).  Now I know that slicing it can be a low-stress activity. I’ve also recently found another use for my cheese slicer…cookie crumb pie shell smoosher.  I know that a flat bowl or ramuken works too, but I usually use my cheese slicer instead so I can get into the edges better…just food for thought.

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