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More Cheese Please, December

This creamy cheese is meant to “brie” for December’s spotlight. Brie is an extremely popular spreadable cheese. It has the consistency of butter and often tastes like it too. Brie comes in many forms and is different from most other cheese types. Brie is covered in a soft rind that exudes an earthy taste. It adds both texture and enhances the buttery flavor of the cheese. The edible, papery, textured rind sets this type apart from any other cheese.

In America, the brie-style cheese known and loved isn’t actually real brie. A shocking discovery for some, brie in America is actually an imitation of the French cheese. France has a program set in place called the AOC which, translated into English, means “controlled label of origin.” AOC’s program ensures that brie sold under a specific label is in fact made authentically, Preserving the name and prestige of cheeses and many foods alike in France.

France makes French brie with unpasteurized milk for a creamy finish and delicious flavor. In America, around 1987, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) required all cheese products to contain pasteurized milk. The FDA also required raw milk to be aged for a minimum of 60 days. Because brie isn’t aged long enough, it wouldn’t be the same as the real deal. Many bries made in America are made with pasteurized milk, prolonging the life but also weakening the flavor.

Don’t be discouraged, it’s completely okay to love American brie. It might not compare to the French way of making it, but it still tastes amazing. Brie made in America or to the health standards can still be the best cheese on the shelf. 

The options for what to actually buy and sample were “spread” out on the shelf – so many delicious soft cheeses to try. The simplest choice was a rectangular package, a block of slicing Brie. Great for cutting off into small pieces, it’s most fitting for crackers. Acidic fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears showcase a smooth texture. And baked it goes with fruit, nuts, bread, and jam. In its baked form, it’s most popular during the fall and winter seasons. 

This particular block tasted earthy and hinted at a bit of sourness with its extreme flavor. This could be due to its age. When brie is more so expired it tends to sour.

Brie has many flavors and fancy names; learning what cheese is personally like is key to loving brie. As mentioned in the previous cheese article, some people come to hate brie because of the rind. That or the flavor is not favorable. Brie comes in tastes like mushroom and herb, both touching on a new flavor combination. So when shopping, consider testing the waters and trying different types of brie.

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