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New to brie [moved from Home Cooking]

  • k
  • Kari Nov 14, 2006 02:33 AM

I have never worked with brie, but have seen many great ideas and would like to try some this coming holiday season.

How do you choose good brie?

Do you eat the outer rind?

Whats the best way to introduce this to people who have never had it?

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  1. A good brie is delicious. When choosing a brie, you must consider both the quality and the maturity or readiness of the cheese. If you are new to the cheese, finding a good specialty cheese store in your area and relying on the seller is probably your best bet, as it takes awhile to learn when a brie is ready, or more importantly, how to buy it so that it will be ready the day you want to serve it.
    IMO you definitely eat the rind, it has always been part of the cheese for me - but this is a subjective thing, so I don't think there is really a right answer. Some people don't like the taste of it.
    Brie is fantastic just as is with baguette or perhaps nice crackers if you like. If you are preparing it for people who have never had it, you might try making it en croute, which is to wrap it in dough and bake it. You can serve this with a fruit coulis underneath or just on its own. Very good for a festive presentation, but I prefer eating it as it comes.

    1. Brie is an easy cheese for most people to like. To up the acceptance factor you might select one that has some ingrediant added like pesto. Whole Foods makes an excellent cranberry brie this time of year.

      However, the suggestion to find a good cheese shop ... especially one that gives tastes is the best idea.

      As to the rind, for me it depends. For a young brie where the rind is white, I'll eat it. For an older brie where the rind is starting to brown, I find it usually too strong and just eat the interiorm, usually spread on a baguette.

      1. a BBLT sandwich is absolutley delicious!

        1. There are quality differences in Brie.
          To learn about it, do as TarteTatin suggests and go to a good specialty cheese shop when they're not busy. The vendor can explain how to tell a quality brie and the stages of ripeness. He'll let you taste it and you can judge for yourself what you prefer and also have a standard against which you can measure.

          If you are going to use brie for baking or recipes in which you'll be mixing things with it, you can probably use standard supermarket brie which is of lesser quality. This is what's generally used for "novelty" bries, such as with pesto or fruit. Most of this grade is sold far too firm and unripe, virtually tasteless.

          If you're going to be eating brie plain or serving it to people who appreciate fine cheese, you'll want to buy the higher quality at the proper stage of ripeness which is usually quite soft, almost runny. This would be too soft to use for baking.
          I eat the rind because I like the contrast in texture between the runny cheese and the firm rind. I even like it as it gets older but then I like strong cheeses.

          1. Look for Brie de Meaux. It's a DOC cheese from France made with raw milk and has a flavor the pasteurized milk Bries can only dream of. It's sold at small shops who take the risk of having the cheese police seize it for being a raw milk, non-aged cheese. Once you taste this, nothing else will do.

            If you do find it, sniff it for any signs of ammonia which indicate that it's overripe. Because it's raw milk and young, it has to be eaten very fresh.

            5 Replies
            1. re: cheryl_h

              You cannot legally sell genuine Brie in the US with raw milk that has had less than 60 days to ripen; look carefully at the label to see if pasteurized milk is used -- usually it is, even with the Brie de Meaux label.

              1. re: Karl S

                We've had this discussion before. Yes it is illegal. But there are some places that manage to get it. In the Boston area Formaggio's and Russo both carry it. Brie de Meaux is always made with raw milk and always sold young (less than 60 days). If it weren't it would lose its AOC label and could not be called Brie de Meaux.

                1. re: cheryl_h

                  I've seen Brie de Meaux with pasteurized milk. Maybe it's wrapped in the US to avoid violating French laws.

                  1. re: Karl S

                    Fromage de Meaux is made with pastuerized milk and some stores sell it as Brie, but it does not carry the AOC label.

                    1. re: cheryl_h

                      Got some Brie de Nangis at Wild Oats recently. It's a less ripened version of Brie de Meaux and had a mushroom flavor. Very good.

            2. I went to a party a while back where the host served a brie wrapped in puff pastry, with chopped apple that had baked over it and drizzed with carmel. It was wonderful!

              1. doc is the system for italian cheese. brie de meaux is an aoc (the appolation origine controle system for cheese in france) cheese and delicious.

                1. I love brie and it is really versatile. I always eat the rind though I know many people choose not to.

                  One of my favorite holiday appetizers to make is individual Phyllo Purses with Brie and Cranberry. It actually works better if the cheese isn’t too ripe. When they bake in the oven you get the perfect combination of crisp phyllo, creamy melted brie and a single cranberry.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kitchensalli

                    ANy chance of getting this recipe? It sounds divine.

                    1. re: prunefeet

                      Sure, I'll post it on the Home Cooking board.

                  2. I prefer a savory baked brie, with garlic or possibly spinach. Once at a family-style restaurant at a mall in South Miami that is no longer there I had a brie that was baked with breadcrumbs on the outside, not puff pastry. It was awesome, but I haven't found a recipe.

                    My husband and I love brie; I eat the rind but he doesn't. I usually prefer the rind when it's soft enough to almost be spreadable.

                    Spread some on baguette slices and broil with some walnuts on top.

                    1. Do remember, if your brie has been kept cool, to take it out and let it get soft and runny. Then it comes into its full flavor. So many people make the mistake of taking it from the fridge right to the table. I don't eat the rind, never have liked it!

                      1. BRIE QUESADILLAS. You'll thank me later.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fascfoo

                          With seafood in them. . .

                          1. re: Covert Ops

                            re: quesadillas - brie, thin slices of tart granny smith apples, and candied walnuts. so good!!

                        2. I saw this on Tyler Florence's show and really liked how simple it was. Just slice the top off, wrap in foil and bake. You serve it like fondue w/ apple slices.

                          1. has anyone tried the brie de chevre? what did you think?