Brie is a soft, cow’s milk cheese that is named after the region of France where it originated. It has a white and sometimes greyish rind that gives way to a gooey, creamy, rich center.
Brie is sold all over the world. This young cheese is soft-ripened which means it is ripened from the outside in. The same category of cheese is also known as bloomy rind cheese.
While full fat or skim cow’s milk is most commonly used for making brie, it is also made with goat’s milk in some places. It comes in a variety of styles which include plain, herbed, double, and triple crème. (The double and triple crème have extra cream added. Yum!)
This cheese, generally speaking, is mild in flavor. The specifics of that flavor depend on the maker and whether or not the cheese is ripe. It is often described as somewhat earthy with nutty, grassy, and almost mushroom-like flavor and aroma.
You can purchase it by the wheel or by the slice and brie, much like fruit or veg, will be ripe or unripe. An underripe wheel will feel hard when pressed and an overripe wheel will feel soft and runny when pressed.
When it comes to slices, look for an interior that soft and has a bit of sheen. It should be firm on the outside and a bit springy in the center.
Brie is great on its own. It is super soft, and it is great spread on a simple slice of crusty, fresh bread. If that’s not your bag, it’s mild flavor and melty texture make it great for sweet and savory recipes.
You can include it in a cheese plate, bake it with dried fruits and jams on top and serve it as an appetizer, melt it into sauces, stuff it into meats or between bread for a super gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
Are you supposed to eat the white part of brie?
Yes! The rind on brie cheese is perfectly edible. If you don’t end up eating it, you wind up leaving behind too much delicious cheese. That said, you can skip it if you want to.
How bad is brie for you?
Let’s get to the good news first. It is high in protein and a great source of vitamins B12 and B2. Here’s the less than great news. It is relatively high in calories and saturated fat. With that in mind, it is best enjoyed in moderation.