Foods You Should Know: Brie

Cheese is something that I love and in the past year and a half I have talked about a few different types of cheese but they have pretty much all been on the harder and saltier side of the cheese spectrum. Today we go soft, with a French cheese who’s name just brings thoughts of luxurious richness to my mind.

Brie is a soft un-pasturized* cow’s milk cheese that originally hailed from Seine-et-Marne a small area near Paris in the ile-de-France region. It is now a widely produced/fucked up product that is made all over the world with varying degrees of success. The cheese its self should be pale yellow to nearly white in colour on the inside and the rind should be somewhere between white and charcoal grey on the outside. A good Brie is creamy in texture with a subtle fruity and nutty flavour. There should be a nice firmness to the rind but it should be easy to chew.  A not so good Brie is more gloopy in texture, almost like the skin that grows on the top of pudding in some cases, and very bland in flavour. This usually comes from low quality milk which has been pasteurized and the cheese has been aged for too long.**

Most people I know eat Brie on it’s own, or with crackers or fruit, but it can also be used in all kinds of dishes. I am a fan of Brie on a burger, I’ve had Brie on pizza which has been divine, and mixing a little Brie into grilled cheese or a stuffed chicken breast can produce amazing results. I personally love to make a panini with roasted red peppers, figs, genoa salami, brie and fontina cheese this mixture of sweet, salty and creamy really compliments the cheese as well as making a comforting yet strangely light sandwich.

Good cheese is something that makes life just a bit more enjoyable and Brie is one of those luxurious cheeses that should be on your list of things to eat today.

*So why would I promote the consumption of a cheese made from milk which has not been pasteurized for my safety? In short, it tastes better. Pasteurization is a wonderful process that has allowed for different level of food safety for numerous products and it’s made society better. But guess what else makes society better….awesome cheese made from un-pasteurized milk.

**There is a rumour that I have heard multiple times about Brie being aged in a rind washed with horse urine. Upon searching it seems that in the past Urine was used in the cheese making process as a way to add vital chemicals to specific cheeses. Brie is not one of those cheeses but when Brie is aged too long the microbes that help create Brie release ammonia in large quantities, ammonia is one of the main ingredients of Urine, so it stands to reason that someone who eats a bad piece of Brie could surmise that the cheese had been made with Urine and what better place to get large amounts of urine than a large equine mammal.