Cheese knives, wires, boards, and domes are designed to enhance and celebrate cheese. They make cheese cutting easier, and help retain a cheese's health when served. When serving a platter of cheese, it's good to provide one knife per cheese to preserve the purity of tastes, but also to make it easier to cut different cheeses.
Sets of cheese knives are common in specialty kitchen stores, and are intended for cutting small, individual serving pieces from a platter of larger cheese pieces. Cheese knives fall into several categories:
Thin, long knife blades work well because the surface of the knife doesn't touch very much of the cheese. Likewise, cheese knives with holes in the blade are designed to cut cleanly while avoiding any binding to the cheese surface. These knives are ideal for soft or semisoft cheese.
Short paring knives or butter knives are good for cutting small wedges of soft cheese, and have the added advantage of spreading well.
Knives with prongs or teeth serve as both knife and fork. The prongs are intended for picking up individual pieces of cheese.
Short, angled knives with knobs on the end are used to cut hard grating cheeses, where often a rough-cut wedge will suffice.
Cheese wires are wonderful tools, as they cut cheese very cleanly and never stick to the cheese's surface. Many kitchen stores sell small wires attached to boards, and they work well on small pieces of cheese. Also look for wires on metal handles that can be dragged through or across cheese, and, if you will be cutting large pieces of cheese regularly, you might want to invest in a large, more industrial-style cheese wire.
Cheese boards should be easy to clean and sturdy enough to withstand the use of cheese knives. Wood is common, and very attractive for showcasing wedges of cheese. Slate and marble boards also make elegant presentations for cheese and have the advantage of staying cool. They can be refrigerated ahead of time and will retain this coolness for quite some time, thereby allowing cheese to gently arrive at room temperature and not become overheated.
Many cheese boards come with glass domes, and these also help retain coolness and humidity while cheese is arriving at room temperature. They are also an effective deterrent to flies and pets.