Brie is a soft cow's milk cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated (roughly corresponding to the modern département of Seine-et-Marne). It is pale in color with a slight grayish tinge under crusty white mold; it is very soft, buttery, creamy, and savory with a hint of ammonia (the white moldy rind is flavorless).
There are now many varieties of Brie made all over the world, including plain Brie, herbed varieties, and versions of Brie made with other types of milk. Brie is perhaps the most well-known French cheese, and is popular throughout the world. Despite the variety of Bries, the French government officially certifies only two types of Brie to be sold under that name: Brie de Meaux (right) and Brie de Melun.
Notes & Tips
- The rind is edible (and is usually eaten).
- Brie should be eaten at room temperature (or higher, if the dish requires it).
- The interior should be soft, with a satin like sheen. It should have a slight yellow-brown color; white Brie is under-ripe.
- A whole, uncut round can be frozen for up to six months.
- Brie plays very nicely with Gruyère on a cheese platter and combined with a little butter, hot sauce, and mustard you have yourself a very nice cheese spread.