The cheese they buy is alive with fungi; indeed, many cheeses require a particular species of mold to properly ripen. To produce Roquefort blue cheese, for example, cheese makers mix Penicillium roqueforti into fermenting curds. The mold spreads throughout the cheese, giving it not only a distinctive blue color but also its (acquired) taste.
To produce soft cheeses such as Camembert or Brie, on the other hand, cheese makers spray a different mold species, Penicillium camemberti, on the curds. The fungus spreads its tendrils over the developing cheese, eventually forming the rind. When you chew on a Camembert rind, you’re eating a solid mat of mold.
Reminds us of the time the nuns at a Catholic school summoned our friends to school to reprimand them for giving their kid “rotten food”. Her recess time snack was Roquefort, crackers and grapes. Technically, the nuns were correct: cheeses contain mold and fungi. That’s why they’re so yummy.
At home, the cats keep trying to steal our Brie.