The Fascinating World of Cheese Rinds

Over the years, I have always been mesmerised by the rind of cheeses. Thousands of microscopic organisms, all unknowingly working toward one objective to ‘protect the paste’. But what does this mean? In this blog, I want to give you an insight into how the rind comes to be, and what I think when I look at a cheese’s rind.

Why Do Rinds Form?

As a cheese ages, it forms a hard skin around it called the rind. The main function of the rind is to extend the cheese's lifespan by managing the degradation of the interior, or the paste. During this process of protecting the paste, the rind breaks the paste down and develops flavour compounds, which is why the rind often forms a separate palette experience from the cheese itself.

The Need for Bacterial Balance

When I first learnt about the flora of rinds, I couldn’t help but imagine these tiny protectors waging an ever-evolving war against good and bad bacteria. Now, my view is a little different. Balance. Yin and Yang. The dance of these communities working together to survive their own surface environmental changes.

What Ageing Can Tell You About a Cheese

You can learn a lot about watching, smelling and tasting rinds. It’s a perfect way to understand where the cheese grew old. For example, the pretty pattern that Geotichum (which is a type of yeast I love - you can read more about it in our Cheesemaker’s Alphabet) leaves on a Chilcote Brick, the musty, powdery, velvety rind on a St. Nectaire that always instantly transports me back to Brigette’s farm in the hills of the Auvergne or the unmistakable oily waxy rind underneath a freshly disrobed Westcombe Cheddar. Inspecting all these cheese surfaces is almost like reading a poker face, for there are tells which may hold the first clues of what your taste buds may experience beneath.

Experience British Artisan Cheese with Rennet and Rind

Want to taste the best that the UK has to offer? At Rennet and Rind, we’ve curated an unmissable collection of award-winning cheeses from local farms around the country. We develop bonds with the farmers who make these cheeses and mature them ourselves so you have a unique taste experience that is more rewarding than what you can find at the supermarket.

If you’re looking for a great way to try different cheeses in one place, consider our famous Mystery Cheese Box, which is our most popular item amongst our loyal fromage fans. Each month, we deliver a new, hand-picked journey through a slice of our British artisan cheese offerings, complete with crackers! For when you wish to treat yourself to something special, trust Rennet and Rind with your cheese.

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