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Have Your Rind and Eat it, Too

So you’re at a cheese and wine tasting and glance over at your neighbor’s plate. She’s left the exoskeleton of her wedge of Camembert behind. You look down at your own plate, which is completely bare, and you start to wonder, “Was I not supposed to eat that?” 

Don’t worry. Unless it’s made from wax or plastic, the rind is definitely edible, and, in most cases, delicious. And if you love cheese as much as we do, you’ll want to savor every last bite. Bloomy rinds, produced by a development of white Penicillium mold, lend a palatable chew-factor to the creamy paste that lies within, and if you don’t eat a washed rind encasing, you’re missing out on a reservoir of flavor and aroma. Some rinds are even infused with booze. You certainly won’t want to throw those in the trash. 

Though we may endorse the rind-eating camp, we acknowledge that not everyone is a fan of eating it straight-up. But instead of eschewing the peel altogether, we encourage the paste-only crew to consider alternate methods of rind-consumption. Because really, no one should be missing out on the stores of flavor that the rind offers.

Rather than simply gnawing on a parmesan rind, toss it into a pot to infuse your soup with serious umami. As The Kitchn explains,

The rind will soften and the flavors of the cheese will infuse throughout the dish. If the rind hasn’t completely dissolved by the time you’re ready to serve, you can either remove the remaining rind altogether or use your spoon to break it into small, chewy pieces.

Our friends at The Kitchn also recommend toasting cheese rinds and making campfire-style cracker and salami s’mores. Now that’s one compelling suggestion that will surely help our No Rind Left Behind Campaign. 


Photo Credit: QuinnDombrowski via Compfight cc

Amanda Minoff

Amanda graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a degree in English Literature and Art History. She is a reader and writer of fiction and loves cheese that tells a good story.