Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Cary Grant, Oct 11, 2012.
Thought I'd drop this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/20695015
Question regarding the rind - how edible are the rinds? Does it differ per kind of cheese? i.e. if i am cutting cheese and part of the rind gets on the actual cheese, is this an issue, should it be removed? Also are you sure to cut the entire rind off? Do you cut it all off at once for the whole block of cheese, or for just the piece you are eating? I notice whole foods usually has a number of cheeses unrefrigerated, is there a reason for this? What is the best way to store cheese in the fridge?
Some rinds are edible, some are "washed" with antibiotics (natamycin). If in doubt, remove generously.
Seems to be a German issue... the only references I see about this tend to originate their. The only usage of it with most artisans is a tiny percentage in solution to deter harmful blue molds.
A number of questions with several answers. Where to begin?
MANY are edible and many of those are personal preference. Actually, I'd wager the vast majority are edible but many get passed on because the flavor is too strong/strange, the rind is very tough or it's unsightly.
These are all edible for example:
The rind on Parmigiano is technically edible but it's so hard you could suck on it like candy and nobody goes in for that, but you can make broth out of it.
Inedible rinds are those that are 1) man-made edible, like wax or polymer coating (though neither would hurt you, they're food-grade just not pleasant), 2) cloth-bound/bandaged (cloth is removed before the consumer sees it but threads and remnants can remain like:
2) bad tasting (very strong, acrid, pungent so as to ruin the pleasure of the cheese). Example- there are bound to be French that eat it but I find this totally unpalatable. Tomme de Savoie:
As to cutting it off: DON'T. Notice in the pics I posted the rind is still on. When serving, cut just what you need. The shape of the cheese dictates the ideal cut but there is no right way:
Again, note the rinds stay on:
If you see a cheese unrefrigerated it is often whole/unbroken. That cheese is still "alive" and will keep for a while at room temp. Most stores do that for display and move them into better storage at night. Many cheeses can stand room temp for quite a while if whole or wrapped in plastic. I have a cloche that we keep in our breezeway in the winter... stays in the 40's there on the coldest days and a wrapped cheese will keep there for a few days. Mostly i use the crisper drawer in the fridge.
For home storage- only buy what you will eat soon, ideally. The answers on how to store and wrap are many. Some are more right than others depending on the cheese and what you are doing with it. The type of wrap has a lot to do with "do you want to keep the cheese from drying out"? or is it a wet cheese that needs to breath? Again- plastic is OK for most persons for a couple of days. The fancier papers have their places.
Yes- my point is I've only generally seen a German reference as to any concerns about removing it from a cheese. I've never seen (haven't really looked) it on a label of any artisan cheese and, again, it's natural. Hobby cheesemakers I know use less than a percent to deter blue molds (not to be confused with pencillium r.)
True, might be more an "industry" cheese thing. In Germany, and likely in the EU, natamycin (E 235) has to be declared on the packaging. Probably in the US too. So I wanted him to know about it. I personally try to avoid eating unnecessary antibiotics, even if few of it gets "absorbed". For example, Old Amsterdam uses natamycin too. And quite a few people eat the rind on pre-sliced gouda.
Natamycin is not an antibiotic. It's a nonsoluable mold and yeast inhibitor.
[Edit: "Natamycin (pimaricin) is a polyene macrolide antibiotics"; some may argue that it's "just" a antimyotic] Nonetheless, possible risks of resistant microorganisms apply. Anyway, it's not that big of a deal, I personally just try to avoid it if possible. And removing 5mm rind isn't a biggy.
Yeah- I'm in the antimyotic camp....
Nonetheless... small food manufacturers in the US (like artisan cheesemakers) are exempt from labeling in the US so you'd never know. There are more parts per million of natural carcinogens in many foods than there are something like this...
But back to "Constant Struggle": please let me know if you have more questions.
Grafton Bismark As sheeps milk cheese goes, it's OK.
Cypress Grove Midnight Moon
(goat cheese. very nutty)
From Union Market ($23 #)
Sottocenere al tartuffo
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