Imported Cheese - Washed Rind

Washed rind or smear-ripened cheese gains its unique flavors, and sometimes very strong aromas, from the meticulous treatment of the rind of each wheel of cheese. Gruyere, Fontina, and many of the traditionally crafted monastery cheeses such as Port Salut and the Canadian Oka are bathed or 'washed' repeatedly in brines made of salt, various types of bacteria, beers, vinegars, and sometimes even wine. This treatment of the rind develops a character unique to washed-rind cheese, with aroma and flavor combinations that are impossible to replicate.