If you’re constantly dreaming about cheese, then you want to have the best cheesy experience possible. What’s the first step of that? Knowing your cheeses in detail. That’s why we thought it’s time to talk about cheese rinds and how to treat them.
Maybe you’ve ended up here because you want answers to an age-old question: should you eat the cheese rinds or not? So, excuse me for using a cliché as an answer, but I have to. The answer is: it depends. Eating the cheese rind varies, depending on the type of cheese, the type of rind, and your personal taste buds.
There is a huge variety when it comes to cheese rinds and they’re all pretty much different, especially to different people. Some can eat any type of rinds, while others cannot stand any of them. Now, when it comes to rinds that are made from wax, cloth, or bark, that’s a whole other story. Though some will eat those as well, that’s an oddity and we don’t really recommend you try it, except if you really really want to.
So, what are cheese rinds anyway?
They are the outside layer that forms on the cheese, naturally edible and that can actually give more oomph to the overall flavor of the cheese. But rinds are not for all cheeses. Some are ripened in plastic film to discourage the forming of rinds. Cheddar, for instance, has a bandage or a wax coating that you have to remove before eating. And then there are the cheeses that are not allowed to ripen and so they don’t have rinds at all. Feta is a famous example of that.
Cheese rind types
There are multiple types of rinds like bloomy, washed, and natural. The bloomy ones are white and soft or even fuzzy. This is the type found in camembert and brie. The washed ones are the product of bathing the cheese in a bacterial solution to promote ripening, like in the case of gruyere and plenty of Wisconsin types. Natural rinds are formed without intervention and they are just a product of the air drying out the exterior of the cheese.
How do you choose which rinds to eat?
Just have a tiny taste of rind and cheese. If you feel like the rinds improve the flavor of the cheese, then you should definitely keep them on. On the other hand, if you don’t like the resulting flavor, it’s best to dump the rinds and just have the interior part of the cheese and you will enjoy it so much more. There is no shame in just eating the cheese. We promise, there is no perfect way to do this.
And since now you know, maybe you can have a little cheese platter at your holiday table.