Cheese rind - not a food question yet.

A year or two ago we bought a wedge of a fine hard cheese and the rind was too hard to enjoy eating so I took a piece of it out to a bird feeder. Birds didn’t care for it so I tossed it in an empty flower pot. After many month in the Nevada climate I examined it. It was hard as Terra cotta. I could hardly scratch it with a sharp knife. What would the materials scientists among you think I have created?

I was under the impression that the rind was a wax the cheese was dipped in to preserve it. Wax in the hot sun I would think would melt it tho. So in short, I have no idea.

Some cheeses like parmigiano have a rind that’s just cheese very low in moisture. Then there are soft cheeses like Brie where the rind is mostly mold.

As for what you ended up with, the British term Hard Cheese comes to mind.

Basically it’s fat globules and milk solids held together with casein glue.

In other words, basically the same stuff you ate, with much less water.

I’d put it under a glass display dome and tell people it was a kidney stone I had removed.

No, some cheeses are coated in wax, but the wax is not the rind. Rind is the outer layer of the cheese itself and is formed either as a simple, dessicated layer of the cheese, or by the action of moulds and other organisms. (The former case being common when wax is applied to inhibit the formation of mould.

Cheese is rich in protein, which dries to a plastic-like consistency - indeed, some of the earliest plastics were made from milk protein.

Carve the face of Jesus on it first, for added conversation points.

You can try yourself to make plastic from milk (instructions,images)

Profit!!! Or is that Prophet?

I learned recently that cheese rinds can be used to great effect for flavoring soups and broths. Chopped! did a whole show about cooking with ‘waste’ food.

I had forgotten about casein. I did not know it could be made into a plastic. I’m sure I did not accidentally produce Galalith but what I had could have been machined into a button. Thanks.

Casein was used in paint as well I believe.