May we eat the cheese rind?
No simple so answer! I'd say that it depends on the cheese type. Firstly we can automatically reject goudas rind whom are made with cere. For teh other , it is up to your sense of taste. Let me introduce the recommandation explaining what is inside the rind...
Bacteria developpment is the origin of the cheese rind.Then it is a blend of milk, bacteria, moisture an ddifferents components which came from fermentation. Sometimes cheese makers add tatsy ingredients like beer,raisins, eau-de vie or even ash. (let discover Origines du goût et de la texture)
In the same way, goat cheese have very acceptable thin and delicate rind.
On the other hand it is quite difficult to appreciate rind from a Comté. Here the rind is like a crust which regulate humidity dring reffining. It is thick and have a lot of fermentation component inside. That explains the bitterness you can feel. For someone it is indigestible but it depend on sensibility of your own gut
So there is no rule for every people. Don't feel ridiculous if you don't like it whereas your table neighbor welcomes eating all kind of them. Personnally, in an Abondance, or an Ossau or a Comté, I like eat the last part of cheese just before the rind. I slightly cut it. It is a particular taste different from the rest of the cheese and the rind.