Surely you've asked the question while eating funky cheeses with friends. "Are we supposed to eat the rind or not?" Unless you're surrounded by a bunch of cheese nerds, the answers that come back likely have as many holes as a cartoonish slice of Swiss.
Even with the mild rind of a brie cheese you've undoubtedly encountered a few friends who carefully cut their way around the snowy white outer layer to get at the good stuff inside, while others almost savor the rind. And as the exteriors get more and more robust, the rind lovers slowly lose their enthusiasm for the taste of mold and time.
So how do you really know if you should be eating the stuff? Paula Lambert, the woman behind the Mozzarella Co. in Deep Ellum answers simply. "It depends on if you like the way it tastes." That ubiquitous brie, for instance, is encased by a rind of penicillium bacteria, which imparts a soft, tender rind that tastes a bit like mushrooms. Skip the rind on one of these carefully aged cheese and you'll be missing on the best part.
Other rinds however, are a little less palatable