The best-known French cheese, nicknamed "the Queen of Cheeses." It has a smooth, soft texture and a whitish rind (which is eaten - it's good, I swear!). It has a tangy, slightly acidic taste, and smells of wood. It is usually sold as a wheel or wedge.

It is made from cow milk. Brie in France is unstabilized and the rind turns slightly brown. Exported Brie is usually stabilized and does not mature. This is done because stabilized Brie has a longer shelf-life and is less susceptible to bacteriological infections.

The cheese is supposed to be eaten at room temperature (read Belli's writeup above regarding letting it fall).

Its wine partners are Cabernet Sauvignon, Medoc, or Bourgogne.

Sources:
www.cheese.com
cheesenet - www.wgx.com/cheesenet

Brie is considered a soft, semi-ripened cheese, similar to Port Salut. Some interesting brie tidbits not already listed above, courtesy of my Winter Break job at the imported cheeses counter.

When opening brie, inhale deeply. If it smells like cat piss, the brie is bad. Don't eat it. Even stabilized brie goes bad quite easily. This is especially important because most people don't know much about brie, so when they buy it on their own for the first time they may think this is the proper smell. This is not a good thing.

Yes, the white rind is mold. But then again, all cheese is essentially mold. Suck it up and eat, if you are going to eat brie, you might as well do it right.

Brie tastes best on plain english biscuit-type crackers. Salty crackers or those with too much butter just don't work. Don't do it.

While most bries are considered double cream, the very best brie is St. Andre, a triple cream brie. It is almost 75 percent butterfat with a very sweet taste, closer to cheesecake than to cheese.

Never use a triple cream brie in a recipe that doesn't specifically call for it. Just eat it on crackers topped with preserves or all fruit.

With a normal brie, I recommend melting butter and brown sugar together in a sauce pan until you get a thick brown syrup. When it has almost carmelized, pour it over the entire brie wedge. Serve with plain crackers and en-joy!

Brie" or Brie cheese" (?).

A kind of soft French cream cheese; -- so called from the district in France where it is made; -- called also fromage de Brie.

 

© Webster 1913.

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