How Parmigiano Reggiano is cut
The almond shape knike
If you look at the way a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is cut in half before its sale, the first thing that draws our attention is the particular and original tool that is used for this operation.
It is a characteristic knife with a short, pointed and almond-shaped blade.
One side is thinner to aid penetration while the other side is thicker because it must act as a wedge.
In fact, a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is not cut, but instead "opened" so that its internal structure and its grainy texture are not altered.
Cutting the Wheel
Using the tip of the knife, a line is drawn that divides the wheel in half on the diameter of the two flat faces and along the convex sides.
Along this line, the rind is pierced by the knife's intermittent thrusts of one or two centimeters.
Then, two knives are run into the cheese on the angle between the flat and convex sides at the two diameter’s ends; these knives act as wedges and the wheel splits open into two identical halves.
This procedure requires experience and attention because the opening is perfect only if the internal structure of the cheese has been able to sustain the same resistance on both halves.
Also the following incisions, i.e. cutting into pieces, must be carried out using the same method; each half is cut into two fourths along a radius that is exactly in the middle of the semi-circumference of the flat sides: one fourth is cut into eighths, eighths are cut into sixteenths and so on. In this way, each piece contains the same ratio between cheese and rind.