I like cheese — especially Danish Havarti and Spanish queso manchego, made from the milk of manchega sheep. For snacking, cooking and melting, its hard to beat the Extra Sharp Cheddar from the farmer-owned, Oregon-based Tilamook, which we usually have on hand.
I’ve sliced plenty of cheese over the years, but never gave much thought to the tool that I use to slice my cheese. Well… at least not until I found the Bjørklund cheese slicers from Norway.
Before I listed these on my Etsy Store, the research — as it often does — revealed interesting information.
It turns out that the inventor of the modern cheese slicer was a Norwegian man named Thor Bjørklund. Yes, the same name that is on this cheese slicer.
Mr. Bjørklunde was a master carpenter and attended the Arts and Crafts School in Oslo, Norway. He reportedly created the design after becoming frustrated with cutting into the cheese in his lunch pack.
Being a carpenter, he modeled his cheese slicer after a plane – a tool used to shape and smooth out pieces of lumber.
Bjorklund’s invention was patented in 1925. The cheese slicer was a huge export product for Norway and became a staple kitchen item in many Nordic households (and beyond!).
These days, cheese slicers are made by a number of manufacturers, but you can still purchase the original ones made by Bjørklund — because they continue to produce cheese slicers modeled after the one invented by Mr. Thor Bjorklund.
Ah yes… the things you learn when you have a blog AND an Etsy Vintage Shop!
Here is a link to the Etsy Listing for the Bjorklund Cheese Slicer (or click on the Etsy post image below).
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Update — I’ve also listed another cheese slicer on the store, this one designed by Swedish master jeweler and silversmith Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe for Dansk.