- Cheese slicer
The original style of cheese slicer was invented and
patented in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund, a carpenter from Lillehammer, Norway. Its mass production started in 1927. Its design was based on that of a carpenter's plane.
This style of slicer is very common in the
Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The success of the cheese slicer in these countries is because cheese is eaten mainly on bread and that most traditional cheese varieties in these countries are hard enough to be sliced.
Another model of cheese slicer, popular in
North America, features a thin wire stretched between the prongs of a hand held metal slicing device. A cylindrical "roller" rests against the edge of the block of cheese while the wire slices through it, providing pressure and guiding the device smoothly such as to create uniform slices of cheese. This style of cheese slicer is especially well suited to the softer cheeses, such as mozzarella.
In 1971, another entirely different design of cheese slicer was invented and
patented by a manufacturer in California. The original Prodyne Gourmet Cheese Slicer had a wooden board with a slot cut into it and a hole through which one end of a U-shaped steel cutting arm was inserted. In the patented design, a stainless steel wireextends between the two ends of the cutting arm fit into the slot, and cuts the cheese. The wire has loops at each end; one loop is around the steel cutting arm in the slot, while the other passes around a metal pin though a plastic handle on the other end of the cutting arm. The plastic handle rotates upward to tighten the wire, and is secured to the cutting arm with a screw.
The board-style cheese slicer has been expanded to include
marble, stainless steel, and plastic cutting boards. Several other designs of handles and wire holders have also been invented to hold the cutting wires of cheese slicing boards. Many of these wires have loops on the ends like the Prodyne models; others have small rings or knots that fit into a slot on the handle and cutting arm.
* [http://www.bjorklund-1925.no/ Official site of the Bjørklund company]
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