Bloomy Rinds, such as the rinds of Brie, Camembert and St. Andre, are formed when cheesemakers spray edible mold spores (Penicillium candidum, camemberti or glaucum) on the cheese and hold the cheese at a temperature that promotes its growth and the formation of the rind. This type of rind is white and can have a smooth or fluffy/flossy surface. Bloomy rind cheeses are categorized by the American Cheese Society as "Soft-Ripened Cheeses". The rind provides a toothsome surface texture and conveniently turns an otherwise unwieldy goop of cheese into something that can be neatly transported or sliced at cooler temperatures. Bloomy rind cheeses provide the best example of why you really should care about the temperature at which you serve and eat your cheese (hello, this applies to wine also). A beautiful piece of Brie will have a firm, finger-food worthy texture when sliced and served in the 40-70F degree range but will smell like wax and taste like a congealed hunk of milk-fat. That same piece of cheese served at room temperature* will be creamy and flavorful. The higher temperature relaxes the cheese, releasing complex but delicate aromas ranging from earthy mushroom to vegetal fruit (as in the fruitiness of habanero peppers). The texture transforms into creamy, silky, or gooey, depending on the cheese and it's age, and the resulting experience on the palate is decadent and unctuous, in a good way. Delicate flavors are also released at higher temps, as well as the full impact of the milk's origin (cow, goat, sheep, etc.) and fat content (i.e. single, double or triple cream). Some bloomy rind cheeses can emit ammonia-like aromas when served at proper temps. Cheese makers and experts often disagree on the degree at which this sign of advanced ripening can go from asset to defect.
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