Cheesemaker took the extra effort and went through a lot of trouble to create a beautiful, consistent rind that protects and adds flavor + texture to the cheese.
So in short: Yes, you can eat the rind of cheese! Rinds are meant to be eaten.
Even the most unappetizing rinds are in no way poisonous or dangerous to consume.
Some rinds are indeed more appealing that others. What matters is the flavor. It is totally up to you if you want to eat the rind or not.
The only time you should NOT eat the rind is when a cheese is covered in wax or its exterior is hard and not chewable.
TIP: you can store super-long-aged wheel like Parmigiano-Reggiano’s rinds in your freezer to make incredible unami-rich broth.
This is When You Should Not Eat Rind
Firstly, I hope it goes without saying that obvious inedible rind treatments like leaves, bark, wax or cloth should be discarded and NOT be eaten.
Discard the inedible wax rinds on hard cheeses like:
Secondly, if you are really not a fan of rind (edible ones), don’t force yourself to eat it.
At the end of the day, eating cheese should be a pleasurable sensory experience.
Otherwise, why eat cheese at all?
Why You Should at Least Taste the Rind of Each Cheese
Avoiding an edible rind is like looking at an expensive artistic painting through the eye of a needle: you will not see the whole beautiful picture.
Furthermore, you are not getting the most bang for your buck. You paid premium for that rind you are leaving on the plate.
By at least tasting the rind, you are expanding your tastes and educating yourself – you are further than most people in that way – you will be familiar with the taste, its style, and its origin.
This gives you real knowledge and something interesting to share about in your next plater gathering.
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