Peeling Wax Off Cheese

Q. I like to buy the interesting cheeses I see at the supermarket and really enjoy eating them as a late-night snack. But I have a problem. A lot of cheeses have a wax coating. Some other kinds have other coatings or mold–I’m not sure what that stuff is, actually. I know you’re not supposed to eat it. But when I try to cut it off, I feel like I’m cutting off a lot of edible cheese, too. And at some of the prices you pay for these cheeses. . . well, you know. Is there a trick?

A. I don’t know whether this is common knowledge, but the solution for this is so obvious that when it hit me a couple of years ago, I blushed with a feeling of stupidity.

You just use a vegetable peeler. It removes just enough of the exterior to get the wax (or whatever) off, without digging away too much cheese. And since most cheeses are round and can’t be trimmed efficiently with a knife, this method is very effective.

CHEESEPL

By the way, when in doubt about whether to cut off a cheese’s rind, try a little without doing so. If you don’t like the taste, just stop. Bloomy cheese like brie can be eaten without peeling–but you can go either way with that, to your own taste.

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