Soft-ripened bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheeses

Soft-ripened bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheese

Soft-ripened bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheeses are creamy and soft and not heated or pressed when made. They get their name from the white mould that grows outside the cheese. 

Mild

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat

Soft-ripened cheeses start firm and chalky, but then mould grows on them, which makes them runny inside and gives them a more pungent taste. Two types of mould are often used to make these cheeses. They have a thin white rind on the outside and a soft or semi-soft inside, which gets softer as the cheese ages. Soft-ripened cheeses must be kept at the right temperature, or they can spoil quickly. They taste like mushrooms, grass, or earth but should still taste like milk and cheese.

Brie

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Brie- Classic cheese and wine pairing chart Fast2eat

Brie is a cheese from France that is very famous. It is made from the milk of cows and is soft. Brie comes in a wooden box and can weigh 1 or 2 kilograms. It is usually sold as a whole wheel or as a wheel segment. Hundreds of years ago, people had to give Brie as a gift to French kings.

Brie is a type of cheese that is often served for dessert. It will not taste right if it is not matured (which means it is pure white). Brie that has been “stabilized” will last longer and won’t get infected by bad bacteria. The Brie sold in France tastes different from the Brie sold in the United States. “Real” French Brie isn’t stabilized and tastes better.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

It’s soft and tastes like Camembert, another type of cheese from France. The flavour depends on what was used to make it and where it was made. It’s creamy and tastes like butter and mushrooms. The inside of the cheese is also buttery and creamy, and the white outside can be eaten. It smells like grass and a barn but tastes mild and slightly salty with a hint of sweetness and bitterness with a minerally aftertaste.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

Brie cheese tastes best when it’s not too cold or too warm, so let it sit out for about 25 minutes before serving. You can also bake it in a dish and add nuts or fruit. Brie is yummy on crackers, sandwiches, or as a dip. Try combining Brie with honey, pecans, or blueberry-lavender jam. For a special sandwich, grill Brie cheese with strawberries, basil, turkey bacon, and blueberry-infused balsamic. Brie tastes great with red apples.

Wine Pairings

Bubbly drinks such as Cava or Champagne are recommended. French Brie can be paired with French Champagne for a delicious taste. Unoaked Chardonnay’s texture is a good match for Brie, and the fruit in the wine will enhance the cheese’s buttery, salty flavour. A red Bordeaux or Burgundy also pairs well with French Brie. Pinot Noir is an excellent option for Brie, and sweet sherry is another good option. The key is to find a drink that complements Brie’s distinct flavours but doesn’t overwhelm it with boldness.

Substitutes/Similar cheeses

If you want a substitute for Brie, you can use either Camembert or Reblochon.

Comparison with Camembert

Camembert is a similar soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a much more recently developed cheese and is based on Brie. However, there are differences such as its origin, typical market shape, size, and flavour:

  • Brie originates from the Île-de-France, while Camembert comes from Normandy.
  • Traditionally, Brie was produced in large wheels, 23 to 37 cm (9 to 14.5 in) in diameter, and thus ripened more slowly than the smaller Camembert cheeses.
  • When sold, brie segments typically have been cut from the larger wheels (although some brie is sold as small, flat cylinders), and therefore its sides are not covered by the rind. By contrast, Camembert is ripened as a small round cheese 10 cm (4 in) in diameter by about 3 cm (1.25 in) thick and fully covered by the rind.
  • This ratio change between rind and paste makes Camembert slightly stronger when compared to a brie ripened for the same amount of time. Once the rind is cut on Camembert, the cheese typically has a more pungent aroma than Brie. Regarding taste, Camembert has a stronger, slightly sour, and sometimes chalky taste.
  • The texture of Camembert is softer than that of Brie, and if warmed, Camembert will become creamier. In contrast, Brie warms without losing as much structure.

Storing

Brie cheese is very soft and creamy, meaning bacteria can grow quickly on it if it’s not stored correctly. To keep it fresh, it’s best to put it in the fridge immediately after buying it and keep it sealed in a container or plastic wrap to prevent it from getting too wet. Brie should be kept at about 4 °C (39 °F) to stay fresh longer. Try to eat it before the date on the packet or within a week after opening it. If you see blue or green mould growing on it, don’t eat it! Throw it away straightaway to avoid getting sick. Don’t try to cut off the mould and keep eating it, as there’s a risk that the mould spores have already spread throughout the whole cheese.

Best wine pairing

White wine: unoaked chardonnay
Red wine: Red Bordeaux, Bourgogne (Burgundy), Pinot Noir, Merlot
Sparkling wine: Cava, Champagne, Crémant, Sparkling wines (Methode Traditionelle)
Dessert wine: Sweet Sherry

Pair with

Crackers, nuts, pecans, walnuts, fruits, red apple, cantaloupe, strawberries, figs, honey and or blueberry-lavender jam, basil, turkey bacon and blueberry-infused balsamic

Type

Soft, artisan, soft-ripened

Texture

Buttery, runny and creamy

Rind

Bloomy

Colour

Cream and white

Flavour

Fruity, mild, nutty, tangy, buttery, creamy

Aroma

Rich, pronounced, strong

Source of milk

Whole or semi-skimmed cow’s milk

Aging time (Affinage)

Generally, 4 to 8 weeks

Family

Brie

Country of origin

France

Variations

There are many different types of Brie cheese made worldwide, with different flavours and kinds of milk used. The biggest producer is Lorraine, France; traditional Brie de Meaux is the tastiest. Other popular variations include Brie Noir and Brie de Melun. You can read more All about Brie.

Brie de Meaux

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Brie de Meux

Brie de Meaux is a French soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It weighs around 2.8 kg and has a 36 to 37-cm diameter. The cheese has a white, fuzzy rind from Penicillium Candidum moulds. The cheese has brown or red patches as it ages. The cheese is ready to eat when half of it is soft and ripe. It is matured for at least four weeks in cellars on straw mats in the Île-de-France area near Paris. Brie de Meaux is an AOC cheese and only matured in some regions near Paris. It is named after a town in Brie. Brie de Meaux is a high-quality cheese known as the cheese of royalty and well-off people. It won the first prize and was declared “Le Roi des Fromages” (The King of Cheeses) in 1814. It is one of the most famous and widely known cheeses.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

This cheese is called Brie de Meaux. It is made from cow’s milk and is soft and creamy. The outside of the cheese has white mould on it. The yellow cheese tastes sweet and buttery, like mushrooms, truffles, and almonds. It also has a fruity taste and smells like hazelnuts.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

Take out the Brie cheese from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature before eating it to enjoy its different flavours, like mouldy, mushroomy, nutty, and fruity. The cheese is frequently used in French dishes like Galettes briardes and Bouchées á la reine au Brie. Pair it up with Lingonberry jam, walnut bread, and maple syrup to serve.

Wine Pairings

Brie is a perfect match with Champagne. Full-bodied red wines such as Red Bordeaux or Bourgogne (Burgundy) are also excellent choices.

Best wine pairing

White wine: Red Bordeaux, Bourgogne (Burgundy), Beaujolais Nouveau
Sparkling wine: Champagne, Cava

Pair with

Lingonberry jam, Pain aux noix (Bread), Maple Syrup

Type

Soft, artisan, soft-ripened, Uncooked, unpressed

Texture

Soft-ripened, creamy and smooth

Rind

Bloomy

Colour

Straw

Flavour

Buttery, sweet

Aroma

Aromatic, rich

Source of milk

unpasteurized Cow’s milk

Aging time (Affinage)

6 to 8 weeks

Family

Brie

Country of origin

France

Brie Noir (Black Brie)

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Brie Noir

Black Brie is a type of French cheese that is very old and has a dark colour and a crumbly texture. It is a more mature version of regular Brie cheese. In the past, locals in the area of Brie used to wrap imperfect Bries de Meaux in newspaper and dry them out in the attic. These cheeses were sold in smaller portions and only locally, never at the market or in Paris. Black Brie is hard to find outside Seine-et-Marne. Compared to regular Brie cheese, aged five to ten weeks, Black Brie takes up to two years to develop its distinct flavour and characteristics.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

Cheese gets stronger, drier, and darker when left to mature for a long time (several months to a year). The rind also gets crumbly and darker. Over time, the texture goes from gooey to crumbly, like Parmesan cheese. It takes months to 2 years to age before eating. It tastes earthy, nutty, bitter, mushroomy, and acidic. It’s a unique taste. Overripe Brie tastes bad because of the ammonia. The cheese, like chocolate, has a flaky and dense texture and requires strong chewing. People might taste different things, such as mushrooms or nuts, but they all agree that aged cheese is strong. Locals often eat it with coffee.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

To make Brie taste better, scrape off some of the rind before eating and dip it in coffee with milk. In the region where Brie is made, people eat it for breakfast with café au lait. You can eat Brie with apple cheese jam, Irish dark beer, or French Pineau. When serving Brie on a cheese board, start with softer cheeses and end with Brie Noir sliced small. Some people suggest eating it on its own because it has a strong taste.

Wine Pairings

Pair it with a sweet wine.

Brie de Melun

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Brie de Melun

Brie de Melun is a cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in France. It is soft and has a flat shape. You can find it in Aube, Yonne, and Île-de-France. It is also available as Brie Noir (black Brie) or “Old Brie” or “Black Brie.” It was granted the protection of AOC status in 1980.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

Brie de Melun is smaller than Brie de Meaux and smells stronger and saltier. It takes longer to make and mature, up to 8 weeks. It has a yellow body and a white rind with reddish marks. The taste is fruity and like straw.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

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

Wine Pairings

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

Camembert

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Camembert - Classic cheese and wine pairing chart Fast2eat

Camembert is a cheese made from cow’s milk in Normandy, France. It’s a soft cheese with a mouldy rind and a creamy texture. It takes about 30 to 35 days to make. It can break apart easily when it’s new, but over time it becomes gooey and creamy. It has to be aged for 21 days. It’s usually sold in wooden packs, which prevent it from spilling, but it can also be sold in cartons or tins. The low-cost versions come in cardboard boxes but are still the same cheese wrapped in paper or foil.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

Camembert cheese is like Brie and comes from France. It has a strong flavour and is creamy. When it is fresh, it doesn’t have much taste, but as it ages, it gets runny and develops a white rind that you can eat. Camembert cheese has a salty taste and looks yellow inside. The white rind is made of a fungus called penicillium candidum and is also edible. The cheese smells like mouldy cabbage and tastes like mushrooms, grass, and butter. The older the cheese, the stronger the taste.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

Camembert is famous for crusty French baguette bread. Camembert is also excellent served with fresh fruits or nuts and is best eaten at room temperature, which may become slightly “runny.”
It is best to try it with sliced apples, which emphasizes its flavour or even in desserts.

Wine Pairings

Try pairing Camembert with some light-bodied whites such as Chenin Blanc or with softer tannin light red wines such as Red Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau, St Emilion, St Estephe, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Faugères Rouge, Irancy, Cabernet Moravia or traditionally with a glass of Normandy hard Cider.
Black tea and Chimay Red beer is also an option.

Substitutes/Similar cheeses

If you want a substitute for Camembert, you can use a good Brie, Explorateur or Reblochon.

Best wine pairing

White wine: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay
Red wine: Red Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Gamay Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau, St Emilion, St Estephe, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Faugères Rouge, Irancy, Cabernet Moravia, Pinot noir
Sparkling wine: Champagne, Prosecco or any good quality sparkling wine

Pair with

Crusty French baguette bread, fresh fruits, nuts, sliced apples, cantaloupe, savoury jams and jellies, Green Olive Mt. Athenos.

Type

soft, artisan, soft-ripened, uncooked, pressed

Texture

Creamy, chalky, runny, smooth, soft-ripened and supple

Rind

Bloomy

Colour

Pale yellow

Flavour

Buttery, creamy, milky, sweet, fruity

Aroma

Earthy, fruity with a slight aroma of mushrooms and mould

Source of milk

Pasteurized Cow’s milk

Aging time (Affinage)

At least 3 weeks

Family

Camembert

Country of origin

France

Chaource

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Chaource - Classic cheese and wine pairing chart Fast2eat

Chaource is a soft cheese from France made in the same way since the 14th century. It’s like Camembert but creamier. It’s made from cow’s milk and is about 10 cm in diameter and 6 cm tall, weighing 250g or 450g. It’s wrapped in paper and put in a wooden box. It takes at least 14 days to mature and can be eaten young, with little rind, or matured for 2-3 months. Some people like it young, while others wait until it’s matured and becomes very creamy.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

Chaource is a type of cheese with a rich, creamy, tangy flavour that tastes like butter, mushrooms, and fruit. It has a soft and slightly crumbly texture surrounded by a white and velvety rind. You can eat Chaource cheese at any maturation stage; its taste will change over time. When the cheese is young, it has a fresh and slightly tart flavour. As the cheese ages, it becomes more creamy, nutty and salty. However, the Chaource cheeses commonly found in American stores are often more mature with a thick and bitter rind. So it’s best to eat only the soft and creamy interior of the cheese.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

It’s better to eat Chaource cheese at room temperature. The cheese ripens from the outside, and when it’s sliced, the inside becomes runny. Chaource goes well with dark berries and honey and is a good appetizer choice.

Wine Pairings

Chaource is made in small wheels that give it an elegant appearance for serving with Champagne or light sparkling wines. Alternatively, pair it with a dry white wine such as Sancerre, Chablis, Bâtard-Montrachet. It also goes well with Nuit St Georges, Pommard, Mercurey, Côte de Brouilly, Irancy, Saumur-Champigny, Saint-Émilion or Lussac-Saint-Émilion.

Best wine pairing

White wine: Sancerre, Chablis, Bâtard-Montrachet
Red wine: Nuit St Georges, Pommard, Mercurey, Côte de Brouilly, Irancy, Saint-Émilion, Lussac-Saint-Émilion, Saumur-Champigny
Sparkling wine: Champagne or light sparkling wines

Pair with

Dark berries and honey

Type

Soft, soft-ripened

Texture

Creamy, crumbly and soft-ripened

Rind

Bloomy, Mold Ripened

Colour

Cream

Flavour

Mushroomy, buttery, milky

Aroma

Rind: slightly tart and slightly bitter

Interior: piquant, slightly fruity

Source of milk

Cow’s milk

Aging time (Affinage)

2-4 weeks

Country of origin

France

Neufchâtel or Coeur du Neufchatel

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Neufchatel

Neufchâtel is a type of cheese that comes from Normandy, France. It’s soft, crumbly, and can be spread like Cream cheese. It’s made from whole milk instead of cream, which makes it different from Cream cheese. Neufchâtel is one of the oldest kinds of cheese in France. There are different kinds of Neufchâtel, like industrial, farmstead, and artisanal. Artisanal Neufchâtel has a thick, grainy inside covered with a soft, velvety rind. It takes 8-10 weeks to mature but can be sold after ten days. Neufchâtel can be shaped like a heart or other shapes like cylinders, squares, logs, and boxes. In North America, it’s usually found in a brick shape. American Neufchâtel is softer than regular Cream cheese and is sometimes called farmers’ cheese. It’s said that French farm girls made heart-shaped Neufchâtel to show their love to English soldiers during the Hundred Years War.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

This cheese is like Camembert but saltier and more flavorful. It has a dry, white rind that you can eat, and the inside is firm but smooth. Neufchâtel cheese differs from other soft cheeses because it has a slightly grainy texture.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

Neufchatel is often spread on crusty bread; this cheese is a gourmet delight. This cheese tastes great on a toasted bagel. It is usually used as a low-fat substitute for Cream cheese.

Wine Pairings

Neufchatel goes well with sparkling wines or strong red wine.

Best wine pairing

White wine: Gewurztraminer (Alsace), Riesling
Red wine: Beaujolais or a strong red wine
Sparkling wines

Pair with

Crusty bread, toasted bagel.

Type

Soft, semi-soft, artisan

Texture

Close, firm but slightly grainy, spreadable and supple

Rind

Bloomy, Mould Ripened

Colour

White

Flavour

Mushroomy, nutty, salty, sharp, tangy, milky

Aroma

Yeasty

Source of milk

Cow’s milk

Aging time (Affinage)

8–10 weeks

Family

Camembert

Country of origin

France

Robiola

Mild cheese categories Fast2eat
Robiola

Robiola is a type of Italian cheese that is soft and creamy. It’s made in Northern Italy with milk from cows, goats, and sheep. It gets its tangy flavour from wild herbs the animals eat while grazing.

Characteristics & Tasting Notes

This is a type of cheese that is soft and spreadable. It has a mild and creamy taste with a little bit of sourness, saltiness, and flavours of mushrooms and earthiness.

Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings

Robiola is generally served as a table cheese, either alone or with oil, salt and pepper. It is delicious and served with olive oil, salt, and some crusty bread. Robiola can also be used in cooking, including famous Piemonte dishes such as “risotto robiola” and “aglio robiola spaghetti” and other dishes.

Substitutes/Similar cheeses

Storing

After buying the cheese, keep it in a good place. It stays fresh for a month, but using it within a week is better. You need to store it properly so it doesn’t go bad, don’t wrap it in plastic because it can spoil the cheese. To keep it best, put it in the fridge without wrapping it or wrapping it in paper.

Variations

The taste and appearance of Robiola vary depending upon where it was produced.

  • Robiola di Roccaverano DOP/DOC has no rind and a slightly straw-yellow colouring with a sweet, yielding taste. Robiola di Roccaverano is named after the town of Roccaverano. This fat cheese is produced in Langhe, a hilly area south and east of the river Tanaro between the Piedmont provinces of Asti and Alessandria. Robiola di Roccaverano is a fresh or short-aged soft paste cheese from goat and cow’s milk. It has a rich goaty aroma and intense, almost piquant flavour. It is typically served with fresh fruit, walnut or raisin bread, or crusty sourdough slices. Pair it with fruity white wines.
  • Robiola Lombardia has a thin, milky-white to the pink rind and tends to be shaped like small rolls. Its rind can be cut away but is mild with no ammonia, adding a subtle crunch to the cheese. The cream-coloured cheese underneath its bloomy rind has a smooth, full, tangy and mildly sour flavour, likely due to the high (52%) fat content.
  • Robiola from the Piedmont region is a fresh cheese. It is usually eaten on its own or with a bit of honey. La Tur has a cake-like rind over a tangy-lactic layer of cream and represents Piedmont’s Robiola cheese style, where the fresh curds are ladled into moulds and drained under their weight before aging rather than by pressing with weights.
  • Robiola due Latti, a mixed milk cheese (cow and sheep milk), is a delectable treat. It is made in the Piedmont region of Italy. The paper-thin rind covers an unctuous buttery paste that coats the palate. Mild and savoury, creamy with a light lingering sweetness, this delicate pillow of a soft-ripened cheese is irresistible.

Best wine pairing

White wine: Gewurztraminer, Alsace Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio
Red wine: Barbaresco
Sparkling wine: Moscato d’Asti

Pair with

Honey or olive oil and salt with some crusty bread, a fruit compote and hazelnuts work well.

Type

Semi-soft

Texture

Soft-ripened

Rind

Bloomy

Colour

Bone-white

Flavour

Delicate, savoury, tangy and slightly sour

Aroma

Sweet and milky

Source of milk

Cows, Goats, Sheep or a blend

Aging time (Affinage)

None to 20 days

Family

Stracchino

Country of origin

Italy

These tips are from my own experience;
I’m neither a party organizer, a sommelier, nor a turophile (a cheese connoisseur). 
I just love cheese, wine and spending time with family and friends.

I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.

Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!

Comment below with your experience, snap a pic, use #fast2eat and tag us on
InstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, following and sharing.

Check out what I’ve been busy preparing for you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top