Cheeses like Stilton have a Natural Rind, a thin crust that develops as the cheese dries while exposed to air. During aging, the surface is often wiped with dry, sterile cloths to remove bacteria and mold development. Some cheesemakers also rub the rinds with oil to soften the surface tension and prevent cracking of the rind. Natural rind cheeses have little intervention during aging compared to brine-washed cheeses. Temperature and humidity control are employed to assure the desired rind texture and aging time, as well as prevent surface cracks. Natural rinds can add texture contrast and interest, but are not considered as essential to the cheese taster's experience as the rind of a brine-washed or bloomy-rind cheese.
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