All about Brie


Possibly the best known French cheese, genuine French Brie is a

soft cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the

Seine-et-Marne area, which is south of Paris. The three finest

French Brie cheeses are considered to be Brie de Meaux, Brie de

Melun and Brie de Montereau. These varieties come in a one or two

kilogram round and packed in a wooden box. However there are many

versions of Brie sold under the same name, commercially

manufactured all over the world.


If this was not the case, no Australians would ever have tasted Brie cheese; true French Brie is

illegal to import to Australia because raw milk cheese must

be aged for a minimum of sixty days to meet our import requirements.

This would make the Brie too ripe to be eaten. This means that the

Brie varieties sold in Australia are made from pasteurized whole or

skim milk.


While genuine Brie forms a natural mold on its edges–which is

completely edible–pasteurized Bries need to be sprayed with

artificial spores to encourage mold to grow. The other main

difference between true unpasteurized Brie and the pasteurized

version is in the taste; pasteurized milk tends to produce a

slightly milder flavor.


Brie is known for its rich, fruity taste

and its soft, gooey texture. Some modern Brie creations include

Brie coated in herbs, peppers or mushrooms. Blue Brie is a popular

variety: it is injected with mold to make a combination of Brie and

blue cheese.


When buying Brie, you should make sure it is ripe–but not too

ripe! Unripened Brie will feel hard to the touch, while overripe

Brie will feel too watery and runny. Ideally, it should have a firm

surface and a softer center. Ripe Brie should be refrigerated and

eaten within a few days. Provided it is not cut, ripe Brie may be

frozen for up to six months. If you are buying Brie in slices, and

can therefore look at the inside of the cheese, go for that which

has a nice shine to it.


Brie is best served at room temperature, so

if it has been refrigerated make sure you let it warm before

eating, to make sure you enjoy it at its finest. It is no surprise

that Brie is often known as “The Queen of Cheeses”; no cheese board

is complete without a generous round of it. Brie tastes fantastic

with a glass of champagne or port.



Keep being ewenique!


Diane Rae

Master Cheesemaker

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