What are cheese rinds?
Cheese rinds are the outside layer that forms on certain cheeses during the cheese aging process. Most rinds that form naturally on a cheese are edible, though not all will be very tasty.
Why do some cheeses not have a rind?
Because rinds are a product of the cheese aging process, fresh cheeses and other cheeses that aren't allowed to age do not have rinds. Cheeses like feta that are continually submerged in brine are also rindless.
How is feta cheese made?
Feta cheese is made by cutting the coagulated curd into small blocks which are salted and dried for a few days, then submerged in a salty brine for several weeks or months. When the cheese is ready for consumption, it is shipped in plastic containers, still in its brine, so it never has a chance to develop a rind.
How is parmesan cheese made?
Parmesan cheese starts off like every other cheese, with bacteria culture and rennet added to milk. After the rennet enzymes in cheese cause the solid curd to separate from the liquid whey, the curd is cut up into very small pieces to allow more moisture to escape. It's then strained through muslin, pressed into large molds, and immersed in brine for several weeks to absorb the salt. Large wheels of parmesan are then aged for 12 to 36 months, during which the cheese develops its natural rind.