Waste not ... Cheese rind Tom Hunt

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Cheese is one of life’s plea­sures, as ad­dic­tive as nar­cotics, but thank­fully much bet­ter for us. Pro­fes­sor Tim Spec­tor, au­thor of The Diet Myth, has a the­ory that the French are slim­mer be­cause they eat funky cheeses full of good bac­te­ria that are vi­tal for a healthy di­ges­tive sys­tem.

The af­ter­care of cheese is as im­por­tant as the mak­ing, and my local cheese­mon­ger’s ad­vice is to keep it wrapped in wax pa­per in a con­tainer in the bot­tom drawer of the fridge, where there’s higher hu­mid­ity (cheese likes to breathe, so doesn’t like plas­tic), and to scrape off any mould that forms, to pro­long its life.

Cheese is ex­pen­sive, so it makes sense to en­joy it in its en­tirety. The rind can be pow­er­fully flavoured, and most (except on waxed cheeses) is edi­ble. I leave the rind on when I take a slice of cheese, be­cause it adds flavour, but some nub­bins inevitably end up lost at the back of the fridge, slightly dry and with­out a home.

If you have a sim­i­lar col­lec­tion of cheese ends, don’t feed them to the com­post mon­ster. In­stead, put them in a jar and make a clas­sic fro­mage fort. My friend Fadi Kat­tan, a Franco-Pales­tinian chef, taught me his own po­tent ver­sion: “Squash the old cheeses with a fork, add three bot­tle caps of ar­magnac per 250g cheese ends, mix and put in a jar. Leave to fer­ment for two to three weeks, adding more ar­magnac if it be­comes dry. Then en­joy!” If you’re short of time, try my quick method.

Cheese rind spread

Blend cheese ends with half the amount of wine, a slice of gar­lic and a sprin­kling of leek tops. Serve on toast.

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