It’s Cheese Gromit! I know I don’t talk in details about what I do at work, but I just had to show what I was doing the other day. I take this exercise, task, whatever, for granted because I’ve done it a million times over. I’m not sure if you knew or not, but I get paid for “cutting the cheese”. I know, it sounds like the dream life of an 11 year old boy.
This particular cheese is from a 175 pound wheel which is about 3 feet across. What you see are the quarters, which are approximately, 32.5 pounds each. When I was introduced to this piece of cheese, it was still in it’s half form and needed ‘washed’. I’m 5’2″ and this cheese is on an average sized table, the cheese comes up to my shoulder which makes it a bit awkward for handling, turning, or cutting. The cleaning solution in the bottle is water, salt and a very small amount of apple cider vinegar. I spray the rind of the cheese, saturating it to loosen any mold and then use a brush to get the remaining bits of mold, wiping it all clean with a cloth towel. If I had not done that, the mold would have been passed to the cheese as I cut through it, thus reducing the shelf life of the cheese. It took me about an hour to wash the cheese. You will want to thank your local cheese steward for doing this EVERY time with wheels of parmesan or large Swiss.
The ‘tool’ sitting on the table with the gray handles is the wire that I use to cut the cheese. (I hear giggling every time I write ‘cut the cheese’ ). It took me another 2 hours to bust this dude down to managable 8oz portions. I was located in a very prominent part of store so I also got to sample to customers, who then went on to purchase, completeting the perfect retail circle of life. Someone else got the honor of wrapping, and pricing the cheese. The next step would then be displaying it in the cheese case, which I also didn’t have to do. My time was up at that store and I needed to move along to the next opportunity.
This is not the largest piece of cheese I’ve cut. Any guesses as to how big the largest piece was? There will be a gift of cheese coming your way if you guess correctly. Come on, say cheese.