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All about Brie – What is and how to eat Brie?

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Brie is a delicious cheese that everyone loves. However, many people might feel intimidated about eating or choosing Brie due to its different varieties and the many ways to enjoy it. In this article, you’ll learn about the history of Brie, what Brie cheese is, how to cook it, its nutritional value, the different types of Brie available, how to store and serve it properly, and some ideas on how to enjoy this delicious cheese and pair it with other foods. So, whether you are a cheese lover or a curious beginner, use our Fast2eat guide to explore recipes and learn all about Brie cheese and how to savour its flavours. Get ready to dive in and enjoy Brie like a pro!

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What is Brie Cheese?

Brie is a famous cheese with a gooey middle that people love to eat. The French version of Brie differs from the one sold in the US. The authentic French Brie is not sterilized and has a complex flavour when it turns slightly brown. If the cheese is pure white, it is not matured yet. However, the Brie that is exported is stabilized and never matures. This makes it last longer and prevents it from getting bacteria.

Brie history - Where did Brie originate from?

Brie is a popular type of cheese from France made in Le Brie, about an hour away from Paris. It is named after the region where it is made and technically should come from around Meaux in France to be called “Brie.” In North America, people often refer to it as “Brie,” a soft cheese made from cow’s milk that tastes creamy, mild and milky. It was probably first made by monks many centuries ago. French royalty often received it as a gift because of its creamy and buttery texture. Even today, serving at parties and gatherings remains a popular choice.

How is Brie made?

Brie is a cheese usually made with cow’s milk, but sometimes goat’s milk is used. They add a substance called rennet to raw milk and warm it up to make it. This creates a solid part called curd, which gives the cheese its flavour. Once the curd is the right texture, they put it into round moulds and leave it there for about 18-20 hours. After that, they take the cheese out of the mould and add some salt and a type of mould to it. The cheese is left to age for about five or six weeks. During this time, the outside of the cheese becomes hard and helps protect the inside. Once it’s aged enough, the cheese is ready to eat!

Brie Characteristics - How would you describe Brie cheese?

This cheese looks pale with a greyish tinge and has a white mouldy coating on it. You can eat the white coating or remove it. The taste of the cheese depends on what it is made of and where it was made. The cheese is soft and flavoured, like Camembert cheese from France.

Brie Tasting Notes - What does Brie taste like?

Brie cheese has a mild, creamy taste that anyone can enjoy. It has a soft texture with a white rind that can be eaten. The cheese has hints of fresh mushrooms; its aroma is grassy and a bit like a barn. However, the taste is mild, slightly salty, and a bit sweet with a mineral aftertaste.

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When Brie cheese starts to go bad, it shows signs. When you buy Brie, don’t be afraid to touch and smell it. The rind should be white, and the cheese should smell good.

select brie

How do I purchase Brie?

Brie comes as either a 1- or 2-kilogram wheel and is packed in a wooden box. Brie is usually purchased either in a full wheel or as a wheel segment.

When shopping for Brie cheese, you will see different kinds like Double Crème, Triple Crème Brie, and Brie Log for a snackable option. These cheeses are made by adding extra cream to the curd. The more cream added, the higher the fat content and softer the texture. Double cream Brie is the regular kind, while Triple cream has even more cream added to make it extra creamy.

Which Brie should I use?

To spread products at room temperature, use Triple-cream cheese because it has more cream. This makes Brie taste like butter and have a creamier texture. However, after baking, Triple Crème becomes too runny when cut open. So, in this case, choose double cream instead.

Does Brie melt when cooked?

When you melt the cheese, the butterfat melts at a low temperature of 90-95°F/32-35°C. Even if you buy cheese from a grocery store with stabilizers added, it will still turn gooey and liquid if it’s a triple-cream cheese.

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Best ways to eat Brie

Brie is a type of cheese with a long history and a rich texture. It can be added to meals, snacks or cheese boards to give them an indulgent and sophisticated taste. Brie is known to be one of the world’s great cheeses due to its simple versatility. There are many ways to enjoy Brie once you learn how to eat it.

You can try it in new ways and share your creations by tagging @fast2eatca on Instagram.

Best ways to eat Brie

Brie is sold in small to large rounds and can be served in different ways, like baked whole or sliced. It can be eaten with a pastry coating, drizzled with honey, or added to sandwiches. Brie goes well with apples and crackers or jam and jelly, making it an easy and elegant appetizer.

What is the correct way to cut Brie?

To make it easy to cut, take the Brie cheese out of the fridge before cutting for 15 minutes. Cut it on a different surface before decorating. If you are serving it as a wheel, preset one or two small wedges to show your guests how much they should take. Put the wheel or wedge on a tray with a knife and your preferred toppings. If you’re serving a wedge, don’t slice off the tip because it’s the most flavourful part of the cheese. Instead, cut along the wedge’s side to get all the cheese’s parts.

Can you eat Brie rind?

Brie cheese has an edible white, mouldy rind that should be eaten with the softer inside. Eating the rind enhances the cheese’s flavour over time, adding a bloomy and earthy taste to the mild paste. We recommend leaving the rind on to fully appreciate the subtle nuances in the cheese’s flavour and enjoy its texture.

What is this white rind?

That characteristic “bloomy” rind comes from Penicillium candidum, a white mould covering that defines soft-ripened cheeses like Brie.

Are you supposed to warm up the Brie?

When planning to serve Brie, to get the best bite, take it out of the refrigerator for about an hour (at least 30 minutes if you forgot) before eating. This allows the cheese to reach room temperature and gives it time for the enzymes to regenerate, reaching its fullest flavour and irresistibly creamiest texture.

Is Brie good in a sandwich?

If you’re in a bit of a rut, try elevating your sandwich with Brie cheese, a welcome addition to a turkey or ham sandwich on a baguette. Or using it as an ingredient in a recipe is entirely your call—a lunchtime staple with endless combinations.

How to serve Brie as sandwiches and wraps meals?

Make a panini with Brie, caramelized onions, and apricot preserves. Use Brie with cranberries and turkey on a tortilla with honey mustard and romaine lettuce. For a French-inspired lunch, toast baguette slices in the oven for 10 minutes. Add cheese, ham, and arugula, tomatoes, or balsamic glaze.

What kind of crackers or bread with Brie cheese?

In France, people usually eat Brie cheese with crusty bread like baguettes. Crackers are also good with it, as long as they are simple and don’t alter the cheese’s flavour. However, it’s not recommended to eat Brie with nacho chips.

Is Brie good for a Pizza?

Pizza is a popular food that you can eat on weekends. There are many pizza crusts, including white, Whole Wheat, Garlic Parmesan, Cornmeal Parmesan, Tapioca (Gluten-free) and Gluten-free. These crusts come in different variations and sizes. You can choose from a various toppings, sauces, and cheeses that make it an enjoyable food.

How to put Brie on Pizza?

If you’re looking for an easy and elevated dinner idea for a date night-in, Brie, sweet pear, savoury prosciutto, and salty black olives make a gourmet Pizza for a sophisticated take on classic pizza flavours.

Try Brie with mushrooms, rosemary and olive oil on your next pizza night for an herby twist on a classic dish.

Is Brie good for cheese board?

This is a popular way to serve Brie cheese. Pairing it with other cheeses is a good idea. It looks nice to have an odd number of cheeses on a plate.

How do you present Brie on a cheese board?

When you create a cheese board, you should organize the cheeses based on their flavour intensity – from mild to intense. Brie is typically the mildest unless you use goat cheese. It’s also important to place each cheese’s accompaniment near it on the board to enhance the taste. This will improve the overall flavour of the board.

Can you eat brie with meat?

This cheese tastes really good with beef. Like butter, you can add Brie cheese to your meat dish. Brie cheese is mild and goes well with smoky, salty, and savoury meats. The cheese is creamy and complements the texture of the meat. You can try this recipe for Filet Mignon (Beef tenderloin) with Brie.

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How to bake Brie

Here are some tips on how to bake Brie cheese perfectly. You can bake it until the centre is melted and gooey, which is great for dipping with toast or vegetables. You can also use it to make an indulgent dip or bake it with different types of dough.

Brie en Croûte

Take the cheese out of the box and remove any plastic wrapping. To bake the Brie, use a pie plate or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Baked Brie can become hard or not melt properly, so it’s essential to remember a few things to ensure it melts well.

What temperature and baking time do you heat Brie?

To heat the cheese, you can bake it in an oven at 177°C/350°F for 20-25 minutes without the puff pastry crust or 30-35 minutes at 190°C/375°F with it. Remember that every oven is different, so keep an eye on the Brie during baking to prevent overcooking. The oven is hot, so make sure it doesn’t turn too brown.

While it is possible to bake frozen Brie, it is generally recommended to thaw it first for more controlled results. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

The best temperature for Brie cheese before baking varies depending on the recipe.
Typically, it is recommended to leave the Brie at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. This allows it to warm up and soften slightly. It will help ensure even melting, avoiding cold spots in the centre. Additionally, allowing the cheese to come to room temperature can enhance its flavours and create a more enjoyable culinary experience.

When baking Brie cheese, keeping the rind on is helpful because it will help the cheese stay in its shape when it melts. Some people cut off the top of the rind and use it as a bowl for the cheese, but a crosshatch pattern can be made to enjoy both the cheese and the rind. The rind is enjoyable, so it’s best to keep it. If desired, the top layer of the rind can be removed after baking and used for dipping in bread-like fondue.

Baked Brie

To make this dish, bake the Brie cheese until it is gooey but still holds its shape. Then, remove it from the oven and cut a cross on the top of the cheese. Take off the rind and place the cheese on a plate with sliced bread, crackers, or apples around it. You can also add herbs and serve with pitta crisps or breadsticks. Finally, you can put extra toppings on it if you like. Check out the variations for inspiration on more ways to make this dish.

Grilling Brie is another way to cook it, adding extra flavour and a hint of smokiness to the cheese. The texture will be soft and gooey, similar to baking Brie. To get the best results, score the top of the Brie round slightly.

Baked Brie is a yummy cheese dish that can be served as a sweet or savoury treat. You can bake the cheese with toppings or wrap it in pastry like a puff or phyllo dough. This is called Brie En Croute, and you can add toppings or see variations for ideas. Bake until the pastry is golden brown.

Check out the guide for more ways to prepare Brie and the Wrapped baked Brie recipe.

Can I use a wedge for wrapped baked Brie?

You can also use a wedge for wrapped baked Brie, but it will be more challenging to wrap.

Should I use small or big Brie wheels for wrapped baked Brie?

You can use this same technique for big and small Brie cheese wheels. Even the smaller 28g/1-ounce mini Brie wheels work well. Cut the puff pastry into 7.5×7.5cm/3×3-inch squares with a sharp knife or pastry wheel, wrap each piece of Brie, and bake it. After baking, you’ll have warm, cheesy goodness perfect for sharing.

What cheese can I use instead of Brie for wrapped baked Brie?

camembert

You can use Camembert instead of Brie in recipes for baked cheese. Use whole cheese to keep it from running when baked. Try using Cambozola, a mix of Camembert and Gorgonzola cheese. But don’t use any other cheese for baked Brie. You can switch up other ingredients if you want to try new flavours.

For more ideas on what to pair with Brie, check out here.

How far in advance can you prep a wrapped baked brie?

For best results with Wrapped Baked Brie, bake it just before serving. Don’t bake it in advance and reheat it, or the pastry will become soggy. However, you can assemble the Brie ahead of time.

What is brie wrapped in?

You don’t have to use puff pastry to wrap Brie – there are other options like phyllo dough, crescent roll dough, pie dough or even bread.

Pastry Brie & Jam Bites

Brie bites

Make something new with Brie cheese by creating these tasty little cups. They’re perfect as a before-dinner snack or as a different and unique end to your meal. They have both sweet and savoury flavours and are creamy but have a crunchy texture, making them irresistible. The best part? They’re easy to make and will satisfy your taste buds. Plus, you can create them quickly if you need a last-minute snack.

Check out the recipe here.

How do you keep baked brie warm for a party?

Bake the Brie at home and cover it with foil to keep it warm. When you wrap cheese in puff pastry and bake it, it will stay warm for around 30 minutes, then cool down and become solid. Covering it with foil, you can keep it warm, but the pastry may not stay crispy.

If it gets cold and you want to warm it up, put it in an oven at 149°C/300°F until it’s soft in the middle again.
If you can’t use the oven, put it in the microwave for a few seconds before serving. However, the texture will be different.

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Brie cheese is yummy! You can eat it on crackers, sandwiches or as a dip. It tastes best when it’s not too cold or too hot, so take it out of the fridge before eating it. Wait for at least 25 minutes before you serve it at room temperature. Sometimes people melt it a little bit, bake it in a dish, and put nuts or fruit on top.

If you made a baked brie on a pie plate, make sure the plate has cooled before serving straight from it. Wait for it to cool down for 5 to 10 minutes before serving so the cheese is not too runny. Serve with sliced baguette, crackers, or apple slices while still warm.

When to serve Brie?

The French often have cheese as a separate course before dessert. But it’s also okay to serve cheese as an appetizer or at a party. Brie cheese is an excellent choice to start with.

What pairs well with Brie?

Best way to eat Brie

Brie cheese has a mild and creamy taste that goes well with many foods. It won’t overpower other flavours. Choose foods that will complement the flavour of Brie without being too strong. There are many options available to pair with Brie, and you can find inspiration for different flavours and foods to pair with Brie and follow the Fast2eat Guide to Plan an Unforgettable Wine & Cheese Party.

Cheese and bread are a great combination that goes well together. You can customize this combo to fit any occasion and taste. You can find bread recipes from Fast2eat that can go well with Brie. To serve Brie, place it in the middle of a plate and surround it with snacks like crackers, fruits, and nuts. Add jam and drinks like champagne, mulled wine or sangria to make it more festive. There’s no right or wrong way to serve Brie, so choose what you like the most.

What combinations go best on baked brie?

You can add different things to Brie cheese before or after cooking, like toppings or fillings that you and your loved ones like. For instance, you can cut a pattern into the top of the cheese and put in your favourite fillings. This dish will be ready to spread on bread, fruit, or veggies in just a few minutes.

They are all delicious because Brie, all on its own, is the best-melted cheese. However, there are several tested good combinations.

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When serving Brie, it’s nice to have a drink to go with it. The usual drink with Brie is champagne, but wine and beer can also be good choices. It’s important to consider the drink’s flavour and if it will go well with the Brie.

Brie cheese tastes different, and we need a wine that matches well with this taste but doesn’t make it too strong. You should pick a wine that complements the particular flavours and texture of the Brie, and make sure it’s not too sour or sweet.

If you want to enjoy a beer with Brie cheese, there are two things you should keep in mind. Firstly, the beer should be strong enough to reduce the creaminess of the cheese. Secondly, it should bring out the different flavours of the cheese.

If you’re not drinking alcohol, you can still have a delicious drink with light and fresh fruit juices like apple or grape juice.

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How to store Brie?

Brie cheese is very creamy and soft, making it easy for bacteria to proliferate if not stored properly. Make sure to refrigerate it as soon as you buy it and keep it refrigerated until you have finished it. Store it in a container or plastic wrap to keep it from getting moist or coming into contact with bacteria that can spoil it sooner. Storing it correctly will help it last longer and stay fresh.

What temperature should Brie be stored at?

The optimal storage temperature for brie is 4 °C (39 °F) or even lower.

How long does Brie wedge last in the fridge?

The cheese has a best-by date, but unlike most food, it’s not best to eat it immediately after buying. Producers suggest eating it near the expiration date, but eating it right away is okay.

How long can you keep Brie once opened?

When you cut Brie, it stops getting riper. It would be best to eat or freeze Brie within 1 to 3 weeks of opening it because it will ripen in your fridge. When you open the wrapped cheese, wrap it again tightly to keep air, strong smells, and moisture out and prevent mould from spreading in your fridge. Remember to throw away any Brie that has been at room temperature for more than 4 hours.

How to tell if the Brie has gone bad?

People love Brie cheese for its mild creamy flavour. If you have a lot of it, you may wonder if it goes bad because it has white mould. To check if your Brie is spoiled, first look for any mould that looks different from the usual white mould. If the surface looks fine, cut a slice and check its quality. If it has changed colour, smells bad, or feels different, throw it away. Overripe Brie aged too long may be excessively runny and have a strong ammonia smell. Although it’s safe to eat if it doesn’t taste good, throw it away.

Can you freeze Brie?

It’s generally not recommended to freeze soft cheeses, but it’s still better than throwing them away. Brie can be frozen for up to 6 months if wrapped in foil and in a freezer bag. However, its texture will change and become crumbly, making it more suitable for cooking than serving as an appetizer. This is similar to frozen yogurt or cottage cheese.

Can wrapped Brie be frozen?

Yes, you can prepare the Brie in pastry for baking and freeze it. First, wrap it with pastry but don’t use the egg wash. Then, wrap the cheese tightly using plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap, apply the egg wash, and bake it directly from the freezer. You may need to bake it for a few more minutes to allow the cheese to soften completely.

Can you reheat baked brie?

Baked Brie is delicious and looks great when served hot, but you can reheat it if you can’t eat it right away. To reheat, remove the wrapping and place the cheese on foil or parchment paper on a baking tray. Heat in an oven at 93-149°C/200-300°F until the centre is melted.

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Varieties of Brie cheese

Nowadays, there are different versions of Brie cheese available all over the world. You can find plain Brie, herbed Brie, double and triple Brie, and Brie, made from different types of milk.

What is the difference between double cream and triple cream Brie?

When you buy Brie cheese, you’ll find different types like Double Crème, Triple Crème, and Brie Log. The main difference is the amount of cream added to the cheese before it’s formed into curd. This affects the fat content and texture of the cheese. If you want a snack, you could try the Brie Log.

Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meux

For the best taste, choose traditional Brie de Meaux instead of Brie from Lorraine. 

Brie de Meaux is famous and has been enjoyed by royals and wealthy people.

Brie de Meaux Characteristics - How would you describe Brie de Meaux?

Brie de Meaux is a type of cheese that comes from France. It is soft and made from cow’s milk. It weighs about 2.8 kilograms and is around 36 to 37 centimetres in diameter. The inside of the cheese is a creamy, straw-yellow colour. The cheese has a thin, white cover from a mould called Penicillium Candidum. It is left in cellars near Paris called Île-de-France for at least 4 weeks to mature. As it gets older, spots of red or brown appear on the cover. When about half of the inside of the cheese is soft and ripe, it is ready to eat.

Brie de Meaux Tasting Notes - What does Brie de Meaux taste like?

Brie de Meaux is a delicious cheese that tastes sweet, rich, and creamy. It has flavours of mushrooms, truffles, and almonds. You can also taste hazelnut and fruit flavours when you eat it.

What does Brie de Meaux cheese pair with?

Brie cheese is often used in French dishes like Galettes briardes and Bouchées á la reine au Brie. Serve the cheese with Lingonberry jam, Pain aux noix (Bread), or Maple Syrup. To fully enjoy the cheese’s mouldy, mushroomy, nutty, and fruity flavours, it’s important to let it warm up to room temperature before eating.

What kind of wine goes well with Brie de Meaux?

Brie cheese goes well with Champagne and full-bodied red wines like Red Bordeaux or Burgundy.

Brie Noir (Black Brie)

Brie Noir

Black brie is a super-aged version of regular brie. Locals from the Brie region used to wrap imperfect brie in newspaper and let them dry in the attic to make it. Regular brie is aged for five to ten weeks, while black brie takes up to two years to develop its dark colour and crumbly texture.

Brie Noir (Black Brie) Characteristics - How would you describe Brie Noir (Black Brie)?

Black Brie is a type of French cheese with a dark colour and a crumbly texture. It is different from regular Brie cheese because it has aged longer, giving it a greyish rind and making the inside more like Parmesan cheese. The texture is hard and dense, similar to chewing chocolate. Black Brie used to be sold by the eighth instead of by weight, and it was only sold locally in Seine-et-Marne, not in markets or Paris. It’s not easy to find Black Brie cheese outside of Seine-et-Marne.

Brie Noir (Black Brie)Tasting Notes - What does Brie Noir (Black Brie) taste like?

When cheese is left to mature for a long time, it becomes stronger in taste and drier in texture. The rind also becomes darker and crumbly. It changes from being gooey to being more like Parmesan. The flavour can vary from mushroomy, earthy, or nutty to bitter and acidic. If the cheese is overripe, it can taste bad because of too much ammonia. Black Brie cheese that has been aged for a long time has a strong taste that some people might find strange. Locals often eat it with coffee.

What does Brie Noir (Black Brie) pair with?

Black Brie is famous around Île-de-France, and many people like to eat it for breakfast by soaking it in coffee. Before eating, remove some of the rinds and try dipping them in coffee. Black Brie pairs well with apple cheese jam, Irish dark beer, or French Pineau. When serving on a cheese board, start with the softer cheeses and end with Brie Noir, which is cut into smaller slices than classic Brie. Some people suggest eating Black Brie alone because it has a strong taste.

What kind of wine goes well with Brie Noir (Black Brie)?

Pair it with a sweet wine.

Brie de Melun

Brie de Melun

Brie de Melu is a type of cheese made from cow’s milk in certain regions of France. It’s a soft, flat cheese that comes in regular and black versions. It’s been protected by AOC status since 1980.

Brie de Melun Characteristics - How would you describe Brie de Melun?

Brie de Melu is a cheese that is smaller than another popular cheese called Brie de Meaux. It is yellow with a white crust and some red lines. It takes more time to make Brie de Melu than Brie de Meaux, and it also needs a longer time to become fully matured (around 4-8 weeks).

Brie de Melun Tasting Notes - What does Brie de Melun taste like?

Brie de Melu is a stronger and saltier cheese compared to Brie de Meaux. It also has a stronger smell. The cheese has a fruity and musty taste and reminds one of straw.

What does de Melun pair with?

It goes well with pears and bread such as Pain aux noix.

What kind of wine goes well with de Melun?

Pair it with lighter red wines that will not overpower the delicate flavours of Brie de Melun.

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Is Brie cheese healthy to eat?

Brie health benefits

This cheese is special and might be good for you because it has important things like protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

Does Brie have any side effects?

Brie cheese has a little bit of lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. If you have trouble digesting lactose, you can still have a little bit of Brie, but not if you are allergic to milk protein. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat unpasteurized Brie because it can have harmful bacteria that cause listeriosis. This can be dangerous to the baby. However, eating moderate amounts of Brie should be fine.

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What are the best substitute for Brie cheese?

If you can’t find Brie cheese, try using Camembert or Reblochon. Camembert cheese has a stronger smell and taste than Brie cheese.

What’s the difference between Camembert and Brie?

These two cheeses are very similar because they are both soft and creamy. Camembert is also made from cow’s milk, just like Brie. However, Camembert is a newer cheese based on Brie, and there are some differences between them such as where they come from, how they look, how big they are, and how they taste.

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