Washed rind cheeses are generally submerged in salt water, sometimes wine, brandy or herbs. By bathing the cheese in a liquid solution like saltwater brine, the flavors are heightened and the resulting cheese is much more pungent.
A brine solution nurtures the growth of a smelly bacterium that is unique to washed rind cheeses. This bacteria has an orange hue, which explains why the rind of washed cheese have a lighter, orange color.
Washed rind cheese may have a hard and sandy rind, which is a result of the leftover salt crystals from their washing during the aging process. The brittle nature of the rind ensures that the inner paste of the cheese is protected and can retain its moist and supply quality.