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Do you know? Cutting a Parmesan wheel (Parmigiano Reggiano)  is a real art and you can learn it.

As in all the art the right instruments are the first step and one of the most important for Parmensan is the almond knife or “tagliagrana” (cut the cheese): this is the right knife even if you want to get a piece from a slice, but are mandatory to open a Whole wheel. It is a knife with a short and pointed blade, with an almond shape and generally with a wooden handle.

Really you can’t say that you cut a wheel, becouse a Parmesan wheel must be opened not cut. This are the step:

  1. You need 3 knives “tagliagrana”
  2. With the tip of one of them, carve a line in the middle of the shape, along the all diameter to get two halves with the same weight and size (to the better you can).
  3. Penetrate the cheese with a knife for a few centimeters along the entire dotted line above
  4. Plant two knives at the ends of the circumference of the Parmesan and the third in the center of the shape
  5. Knives will be your wedges: the shape will open in two equal parts (if not probably you made some mistake in the process).

Once the shape is open, with the almond knife you can break many small scales to serve on the table or you can use the “affettagrana” to get perfect flakes without too much effort or use one fo the different graters available in the shops to grate your Parmesan upon pasta or lasagne.

It’s not so difficult  to open a parmesan wheel but if you feel uncofortable  you can use some special machines that be manual or automatic: these tools use a metal wire to cut quickly, and with excellent precision, any form of grain, including Parmesan cheese. But of course they are much more expensive than the 3 knifes and need space to be host.

Video: how to cut Parmesan