I regularly buy Frico's Beech Wood Smoked Processed Cheese but there's this outer layer, kind of like a skin that I don't understand what it is really.

Label, just in case: Label

The cheese is, firstly, covered in some sort of protective, dark, plastic (?) layer that needs to be cut before it could be eaten: Plastic shell

(not shown is a clear plastic cover beneath this layer that also needs to be removed)
Then we get to the cheese, itself, however it has this dark... skin(?) which I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with: Cheese overview Cheese innards

It cannot be peeled, it seems to really be just the surface layer of the cheese and I have eaten it without problems, it isn't plastic or something like that, however when I melt the cheese the yellowy innards melt fine, but that skin(?) never melts and rests in the bowl looking like a waste product.

Does anyone know what it actually is and if it should be eaten?


1 Answer 1


That's called the "rind". It's the outer layer of cheese, hardened by the drying process, and colored brown with food coloring in order to imitate more artisinal smoked cheeses (where it would be actually brown due to smoke). It's perfectly edible, and doesn't generally taste any different from the rest of the cheese food.

  • 1
    The rind on the photos looks very smooth to me. I personally might have rather guessed at a Wax Rind here. Not sure if they come in black - normally they're red.
    – Martin
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 10:02
  • I wonder why it doesn't melt, though? To me it seems it's part of the cheese but refusing to melt makes it look like it's not cheese. While at the same time it is impossible to peel, without actually cutting a part of the cheese with it.
    – user85128
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 11:46
  • Martin: it would be unusual to have a wax covering when the cheese already has a plastic covering, per the photos.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 21:46
  • Regarding the melting, see cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/95536/…
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 21:47

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