Can I eat the white rind of a Brie or Camembert?
Yes, you can eat the rind of Camembert, Brie, or any soft-ripened cheese. The white mold is Penicillium camemberti (a.k.a. P. candidum), which gives these cheeses their characteristic bloomy rind. The rind is totally edible and adds texture and flavor to the cheese. However, there are times when the cheese is old or poorly kept, and it can be very strongly (unpleasantly) flavored, bitter, or ammoniated. To avoid this, the best bet is to examine the cheese before purchase, if you can. Its rind should look fresh and white, and the disc should feel plump in its container or box. Look out for wet, slimy, or brown spots. Shop at a reputable, busy cheese shop, and ask your cheesemonger to let you smell and taste the cheese before you buy, to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for.