Can You Eat Cheese Rinds?

November 7, 2013 | By | Comments (5)

cheese rinds

I love cheese. I love to eat it, and I love to serve it when people come over to my house. In fact, I go out of my way to find unfamiliar, unique, delicious cheeses all the time. But one thing that drives me a little bit crazy when I’m serving cheese is when guests cut around the rind, leaving behind an essential part of the cheese. Granted, the rind isn’t always tasty (though it often is, and the cheesemaker put a lot of thought and effort into developing it) but most of the time, people just assume that it’s not meant to be eaten and don’t even try it.

There are some rinds, however, that obviously aren’t meant to be eaten.  Here’s a quick overview:

-The velvety white, gray, or yellow rinds of most soft or semisoft cheeses are edible (Brie, Camembert, Taleggio)
-Wax rinds on hard cheeses are obviously a no-no (Manchego, Gouda)
-Non-waxy rinds on hard cheeses are edible, but might be tough. Parmesan and pecorino rinds add great flavor when simmered in soups and stews.

When in doubt, give the rind a nibble—it could wind up being the best part of the cheese.

Want to host a cheese-tasting party? Use this step-by-step guide.

(Image: Andrew McCaul)


  1. Karen

    I adore cheese as well and usually can’t taste bitter flavors, but for some reason washed or soft cheese rinds are extremely bitter to me. I get rude looks when I cut it away but it’s extremely unpleasant to me – and I do try it every time anyway. So it’s not always because people don’t know it’s edible.

    November 8, 2013 at 11:26 am
  2. WVW

    I’m with the previous poster – I’m from Wisconsin, I love my cheese, and while I understand brie rinds are perfectly edible, I simply dislike them and cut them off. My apologies to the cheesemaker who spent so much effort on it.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm
  3. Tiffany @ Triple Crème Decadence

    That kind of makes me feel a little funny too! The rind is delicious. Brie and Camembert rinds have such an incredible earthiness.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:45 am
  4. Vera Lynn

    You can definitely eat the rind on a smoked Gouda cheese – delicious!

    June 6, 2014 at 8:54 am


    July 29, 2014 at 2:52 am

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