Eat This

Cheese Rinds: When To Eat Them and When To Leave Them On The Board

We all have asked the question: When exactly is it alright to eat the cheese rinds?
We all have asked the question: When exactly is it alright to eat the cheese rinds? Dorina Anders via Creative Commons

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The fine white layer on this triple cream brie from France adds a delicate flavor of mushrooms to the cheese. While Rogers says he doesn't enjoy the texture it imparts (it detracts from the delicate creamy center) he admits it has a nice flavor. Bottom line: Taste it. If you enjoy the flavor the rind imparts, eat as much as you like.

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Skip the rind on a Taleggio, the gateway cheese to stinky cheeses, and you'll miss the whole point of washed rinds. If you're not enjoying this rind, you may want to start shopping in different section of the cheese counter.

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If you take home a ball of Coupole you'll almost have to eat the rind. Rogers carried the ball delicately from the counter to the table where I was photographing the cheese. It was so soft it moved under its own weight. It would be almost impossible to no eat the rind as you dive into the cheese because the exterior is so delicate. It also looks like brains.

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This aged coat cheese is treated with mold spores to induce that wonderful musky flavor we associate with more popular blue cheeses. The inside of this cheese is a chalky but smooth and white, with the slightly funky flavor you'll find in many aged cheeses. Sample some with the rind and you'll get that same funk multiplied by 10, along with spicy and peppery flavors.

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The exterior of this cheese is coated in a layer of black tea and honey. Cheeses like these use washes and coatings that are meant to impart flavor and become a part of a cheese. Other cheeses use chilies and herbs to flavor from the outside. Eat these rinds with enthusiasm. They're a distinct part of the experience.

Now let's look at the bad. Remember, it's still subjective.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz