Washed-rind cheeses are cheeses that have been washed with a brine with the primary intention of reducing mold development. Traditionally, washed-rind cheeses were produced at higher elevations, where their transport to lower-lying markets and ports necessitated the practice of producing dense-textured/low moisture cheeses with greater portability and longevity. Alpine cheeses such as Gruyere, Tomme d'Adondance, Fontina and Swiss are examples of wash-rind cheeses. Today, this term is used as either a catch-all for any cheese that has had a brine wash or specifically for brine-washed, ripened cheeses with soft to semi-soft textures.
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