Named after the region in which it originated in eastern Paris, Brie is undoubtedly best described as a sensual soft bloomy cheese. Traditionally made from cow’s milk, it’s pale in colour with an edible white rind. In it’s early days, the size and shape of a typical Brie was a large flat wheel, spanning 35cm-45cm in diametre.
Today however, Brie has evolved and can be made from a variety of milks, both pasteurised and unpasteurised, in a range of different sizes.
So where to begin?
If you are new to the world of Brie, then starting off with a mild cheese is always my recommendation. There are no right or wrongs when it comes to flavour intensity. However the one rule I must stress is that eating Brie (or any cheese for that matter) should always be an enjoyable experience. Develop you taste buds gradually and don’t be afraid to try new flavours.
Here are 5 types of Brie to get your taste buds humming:
Double and Triple Cream
What could be better than a creamy cheese? An even creamier Brie with double or triple the cream. True to its name, the double and triple Brie have extra cream added to them during production before the curd is formed. Slightly acidic curds are also added making a richer and butterier cheese that’s high in tasty fat for you to enjoy.
Both cream cheeses originated in Normandy in the mid to late1800’s. By French law, a double cream has between 60% to 75% butterfat, while it’s triple counterpart has over 75% butterfat. The first double cream was initially called Petit Suisse, and the triple was referred to as Le Magnum. Together, these Bries are high in fat, cream, and rich in taste. They couple well with champagne and fresh fruit like strawberries, mangoes, or raspberries.
Also known as Cambozola, blue Brie originated in Germany and combined Italian Gorgonzola with a French triple cream for a flavourful taste. It’s a triple cream Brie made from pasteurized cow’s milk with pockets of blue and grey mould. The flavour profiles are nutty savoury, and sweet. Serve it on a cheese platter along with honey, fresh fruit, and a glass of Chardonnay.
Similar in appearance to traditional Brie, Chevre Brie is made from raw goat’s milk and is curdled with vegetarian rennet. Despite the exterior, this cheese has a more distinct and richer taste. Depending on your mood you can enjoy it with a light-bodied red wine, a crisp white, and like other Bries, champagne. Put together a simple cheese board of honey, fruit, jams, crackers, baguettes, and nuts that will be bursting with flavour.
Oh the mighty truffle! If you are looking to take your cheese appreciation to the next level, then I highly recommend indulging in the deep earthiness of a truffle Brie. There are a number of different styles on the market, as artisan producers are creating signature cheeses using this prized black fungus. If you want to step up your cheese platter, then this elegant hero is the way to go. Pair it with Champagne or sparkling wine.