I love the topic of etiquette. I grew up in a house where Emily Post was the go-to book of reference for all things.
One element of etiquette that is often lacking, even for the most gentile of people is what we shall further refer to as cheese crimes.
I loathe cheese crimes and feel compelled to let people know if they have committed one. Often people aren’t even aware that they just committed a serious cheese offence. Growing up in North America, cheese etiquette is not taught. In France, everyone knows. I would want to know–wouldn’t you?
The biggest offence in my books is steeling the nose. Sacre bleu! Imagine if you will, a lovely wedge of camembert. It looks like a triangle non? Steeling the nose is when the first person cuts the tip off. A perfect triangle no more. Then everyone starts hacking off the once perfect triangle until only the heel is left. Who wants the heel? Not me.
The proper way to eat/share a wedge of cheese (this is primarily applicable to a soft or semi-ripened fromage) is to cut a piece off the side–leaving the cheese in the same shape for the person who enjoys it next. Just keep working off the sides until there is only a sliver left. The last bite should be as delicious as the first.
Please don’t steel the nose. Please leave the cheese in the same shape as you found it. Avoid cheese crimes and ensure that you are included in the next wine and cheese party.