In my quest to become more cheese literate I have made it my mission to buy a fancy cheese every time I visit Whole Foods. What constitutes a fancy cheese? I’m not really sure, but I will say this, I can get an entire block of cheese the size of my head for $4 bucks, so when .22 lb’s costs $6 bucks, it’s fancy!
I ventured lightly. A safe white cheddar, a smoked gouda….maybe a solid hunk of parmesan. But it started to get boring and paying $6 for white cheddar seemed stupid. I mean any amateur can pick those. So I started taking risks, but it was scary. Have you ever been to a cheese counter? It’s very intimidating…and…well, kinda smelly! How to pick something to eat that smells like feet, hmmmm.
This past week I purchased a Sottocenere with black truffle. As I opened the package the aroma of truffles was apparent, and the cheese is mighty tasty. But as I munched on the rind, it was, umm….funny tasting. I later found out that the rind is made of ash..Ewww! Can I eat this I thought? Why is fancy cheese the size of my thumb $9 and made with ash?
The rind is actually made of an aromatic coating of nutmeg, clove, coriander, cinnamon, licorice fennel AND ash. According to food republic “as long as the cheese coating in question was not made by man alone (like the red wax onGouda) the rind is safe to eat.” Thank GOD! Thought I was eating dead people or worse, republicans.
I have heard from many online sources that the rinds are often more pungent, bitter, moldy or textured funny…but they can be dropped in soups. Umm,…. err,…. sounds yummy!
The wax paper and plastic on the cheese, however is not edible….