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SamIAm's avatar

How do you know which cheese rinds are edible?

Asked by SamIAm (8630 points ) July 17th, 2010

Obviously the wax ones aren’t, but how do you know if softer ones are? Are any cheese rinds harmful to eat?

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15 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

They should all be fine unless they became contaminated by bad storage or a chemical spill or some such thing. I always throw some Reggiano rind in a nice soup.

janbb's avatar

I was just going to send this to @dpworkin when he popped up. He’s the food maven.

Jeruba's avatar

What are the softer ones made of, @dpworkin?

SamIAm's avatar

@jeruba: something about ash…

Austinlad's avatar

For me, there’s no rind or reason, but almost always I trim off the rind. The only one I sometimes eat is with brie when it’s been warmed, but only if it’s a very good (read: expensive) brie.

dpworkin's avatar

All rind is the milk and rennet reacting with air. It develops and thickens as the cheese ages. It is made of the cheese itself, plus the effects of oxidation. That’s why the rind from hard aged cheeses is good in cooking, and why the rind on a soft cheese like a brie is edible.

Coloma's avatar

@Austinlad

Lol…I love your poetic twist!

I’m with you..not a rind kind myself.

But..I do worship the cheese goddess, cheese is one of my everythings!

josie's avatar

@dpworkin I wasn’t sure about you until your answer. Anybody who knows their cheese is good with me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@josie Darnell Turner “can identify 254 types of cheese by taste alone”. ;-)
Source: My Name is Earl

AmWiser's avatar

Some types of cheese come with a rind – or hard outer layer. The job of the rind is to protect the cheese and help it develop flavor. Rinds can be found on many cheeses, specifically parmesan, Stilton, and aged cheddar. Most of us probably toss the rind after using the soft more edible part of the cheese. Well given the cost of quality cheese and our shrinking budgets, save the cheese rinds – you paid for them! Cheese rinds can offer much flavor to your cooking. There are many uses for parmesan rinds which will add a cheesy essence and depth to your dish. From soups to tomato sauces to risottos, adding a cheese rind while cooking is a best kept secret of Italian cooks. Just toss the rind in and remove what remains of the rind before serving. Some rinds have a wax coating on top of the rind which needs to be removed before adding it to your dish – parmesan does not. link
Also this link is very helpful.

dpworkin's avatar

@AmWiser Is that a quote? We generally don’t quote on Fluther without indicating we have done so.

AmWiser's avatar

@dpworkin corrected. Thank you

Buttonstc's avatar

I can’t imagine anyone ever eating the rind on my favorite cheese, Gorgonzola Dolce.

It’s not waxy at all, but has a horribly unpleasant grittiness and sandy quality to it. Just horrid. I always assumed that they must have coated it with some type of sand as I find it hard to imagine that developing naturally.

It is really and truly awful. He cheese is fantastic. The rind is execrable and quite a challenge to remove completely.

Has anyone else encountered a cheese like this?

dpworkin's avatar

I wonder if that’s not a function of the mold, rather than the actual substance of the cheese.

wallabies's avatar

You can even eat the wax ones and survive.

I’ve been eating a lot of cheese lately…the soft ones tend to have good rind. I’ll just try a little piece and if it tastes good I’ll keep eating.

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