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Best way to enjoy brie

sunshinedrop Dec 8, 2006 08:47 PM

I have always wanted to try brie, and there was a chunk of it on sale at my grocery store, so I bought it. Now I just need to know how to eat it...:) Is there a traditional way to enjoy brie...by itself, on crackers, room temperature, warmed, cold?

  1. jenniebnyc Dec 14, 2006 12:38 AM

    eat at room temp with french bread and blueberry compote or truffle honey
    sooooooo good

    2 Replies
    1. re: jenniebnyc
      niki rothman Dec 24, 2006 10:16 PM


      1. re: niki rothman
        jenniebnyc Dec 28, 2006 12:09 AM

        i discovered this at OTTO in NYC. i make an abbreviated version using honey with a few shakes of good white truffle oil. nothing beats the real stuff at Otto though

    2. g
      GDSinPA Dec 13, 2006 12:49 PM

      This got me wondering - someone mentioned getting "real" French brie.

      How would one obtain such a find? As I understand it, even imported cheeses have to be pasturized to US regulations, which supposedly decreases some of their tastiness.

      Is there any way to get some French made brie that is made the way the French eat it? I suppose the same question could be posed about other imported cheeses as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GDSinPA
        Covert Ops Dec 24, 2006 06:39 PM

        There was a Chow article about it. Sounds like it'd be pretty hard outside NYC, but give it a whirl with your local cheesemonger:


      2. g
        greenstate Dec 13, 2006 12:19 PM

        I've been trying different goat cheese bries and found them to be more satisfying than triple cream varieties. They have the brie flavor but with a more involved palate. They are a little less cloying (if that's the right word) and much easier to eat the whole thing with crusty bread and figs.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greenstate
          notmartha Dec 13, 2006 03:48 PM

          Do the goat cheese brie have the 'tang' (sourness)?

          1. re: greenstate
            niki rothman Dec 24, 2006 10:15 PM

            I have trouble with the "goatiness' of goat cheese. It seems it is a desired quality as the more expensive items seem to be stronger smelling. I like a stinky brie but not stinky goat cheese. And unstinky goat cheese tastes just like a good cream cheese made without any guam gum or carageenan. So, I guess the point of goat cheese is forever lost on me.

            1. re: niki rothman
              greenstate Dec 26, 2006 12:07 PM

              Agree that unstinky goat cheese tastes like glorifired cream cheese. To me the gamey flavor of goat cheeses, particularly Brie, is like a new dimension to an old flavor. I can't get enough. Creamy goat Brie on toasted sourdough, with my morning coffee, is heaven.

              1. re: greenstate
                niki rothman Dec 27, 2006 11:10 PM

                Goat brie? I had no idea? Complex layers of ultra-stinkiness. But in a good way.

          2. amandine Dec 13, 2006 05:39 AM

            And as a sandwich, good crusty baguette, quality black forest ham, and good ol' yellow mustard, and a few slabs of brie. Delicious. (credits go to Ms. M. Stewart)

            1. amandine Dec 13, 2006 05:35 AM

              My cousin had a winning brie presentation at Thanksgiving this year... she bought a lovely fig compote from Whole Foods, slathered it on top of a 5" round of brie and served it alongside melba toasts. I don't normally like figs all that much but the combination of flavors was divine. :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: amandine
                niki rothman Dec 24, 2006 10:12 PM

                What temp were the 2 items?

              2. s
                Stassage Dec 12, 2006 06:35 PM

                This is great during summer when tomatoes are at their best. I don't have exact proportions, I just eyeball all the ingredients to taste. Add a good amount of un-cooked coarsely chopped tomatoes, basil, and garlic along with about half a wedge of brie to hot out of the water linguine. Stir with some kosher salt and pepper and a small amount of olive oil. The result is a cheesey buttery and rich but fruity and fragrant pasta.

                1. rabidog Dec 12, 2006 05:21 PM

                  i recently planned an event where the caterers suggested a ever-so-slightly warmed brie with a high-quality honey, cranberries, and almonds. alongside this concoction toasted baguettes were served. it was EXCELLENT.

                  across the board, and even in my opinon with sharper cheeses, honey & baguettes are wonderful accompaniments. i recently had a spanish cheese (starts with a i, white, a little sharp) with a lavendar honey and it was to die for! it really brings out the flavor of the cheese, if that makes sense.

                  1. g
                    GDSinPA Dec 12, 2006 05:02 PM

                    Quite good just barely cold on lightly toasted bread.

                    Also good on just about any warm or room temperature sandwich (burgers, turkey, etc). I think brie is underutilized in this way. Smear some on a good tortilla or flat bread, and throw on some sauteed shrimp, and maybe some leaks or fennel. Fold over and Yum.
                    Might also be good with mild flavored pork or duck.

                    1. notmartha Dec 11, 2006 01:29 AM

                      While in Asiago, Italy, I picked up a truffle infused honey. The store owner suggested that I use it on cheese, at first I was a bit skeptical, but actually it was very good on certain type of cheese, brie being one of them. I think a good light/mild honey will work as well.

                      The other classic of course for something more substantial is a brie and rare roast beef sandwich made with french baguette.

                      I prefer triple cream, personally, put out at room temperature at least one hour before serving.

                      1. l
                        Lono37 Dec 11, 2006 01:07 AM

                        Might be heresy, but me and the wife have always loved brie on good crackers or baguette slices with a little jalepeno jelly. Pierre Robert is also especially good this way.

                        1. jfood Dec 10, 2006 09:10 PM

                          in addition to the suggestions above on a baguette I also like with a ripe apple or pear.

                          Also knowing how good a brie is when bought is important. there is a wide range of bries, double- triple-creme. Likewise varying degrees of pungency.

                          You will some you like and some you do not, jut like all cheeses.

                          1. i
                            itsonlyfood Dec 10, 2006 09:08 PM

                            Like everyone says, room temp. But, if you just can't wait, I suggest you cheat and put in a microwave at a low temp for ten seconds at a time, repeat until it just starts to melt. Heavenly!

                            1. b
                              Babette Dec 10, 2006 07:41 PM

                              I like it melted in a round of hollowed out rustic bread that has been brushed with garlic & olive oil. The insides of the bread can be cut into chunks, similarly brushed and toasted alongside the round (which has been recovered with the top 1/3rd of the bread during heating.

                              It's like a totally edible brie fondue pot--never any left. (I slice down the sides of the round about 1 inch in 1 inch increments to make tearing it apart easier).

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Babette
                                niki rothman Dec 10, 2006 08:56 PM

                                What is your procedure for heating the bread with the (chunks?) of brie in it? Do you cover it in foil? Oven temp? Time? Ever add anything to the brie? It's a really great concept!

                                1. re: niki rothman
                                  Babette Dec 10, 2006 09:47 PM

                                  Okay, to be more specific:

                                  It's actually the top 1/4 of the 1 lb. bread round which is sliced off & reserved. The inside of the bottom is carefully scooped out leaving 1 inch shell. Make verticle slices down into the rim of the bread bowl about 1 inch deep, at 1" increments. Bread from inside round cut to 1.5 in. cubes.

                                  Mix 2 minced garlic cloves with 1/3 c. butter or olive oil. Brush inside shell & cubes with this.

                                  Place the cheese inside the shell. I do it without rind (Philistine!) in pieces but it can be simply cut to fit with the rind on (never tried, don't know how that affects texture. Not a rind person, sorry). Replace the top. No foil.

                                  Oven 350.

                                  Put the cheese filled bread & the cubes in a single layer in a pan or cookie sheet. Bake about 10 min., remove cubes, bake the round until the cheese melts, another 10 min. or so.

                                  Serve immediately and use toasted cubes and the bread bowl and lid itself for dipping. (If you want to cube up the lid, that might be a civilized touch). Your guests will not be shy about ripping the whole thing apart till it's gone.

                                  It's great like this, but if you embellish with additional ingredients, I'd love to hear how that works.

                                  1. re: Babette
                                    niki rothman Dec 11, 2006 01:01 AM

                                    WOW! Sounds outrageously good! I don't like the rind either. What additional ingredients would you suggest?

                                    1. re: niki rothman
                                      Babette Dec 11, 2006 02:26 AM

                                      I haven't tried anything in addition--I like it this way. Knowing Chowhounds, though, they will embellish. (Rosemary?--other herbs?-- fruits? olives)? I'd try it as described--ain't broke.

                                      Oh--I have served it with rosemary bread--huge hit.

                              2. HillJ Dec 9, 2006 08:40 PM

                                How about melted? I like brie room temp but love it warmed in the oven/quickly with fruit or water crackers.

                                1. n
                                  niki rothman Dec 9, 2006 01:03 AM

                                  How about with some good wine, baguette, and unsalted butter. And a nice selection of ripe fruits. Even though the brie is so fatty (in a GOOD way) it's even better with some sweet butter spread on the baguette under it.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: niki rothman
                                    yayadave Dec 9, 2006 01:32 AM

                                    And I just picked up a 1 kq size at Costco for $11.59. From France. Should be good.

                                    1. re: niki rothman
                                      babette feasts Dec 9, 2006 01:37 AM

                                      I'm so glad to find I'm not the only one who enjoys double and triple cremes with butter! It seems so wrong, but it feels so good.

                                      1. re: babette feasts
                                        niki rothman Dec 10, 2006 07:34 PM

                                        Seems like only a few weeks ago I got involved in a throw down with another brie and butter lover here and we could not stop coming up with all the things that would taste even better combined with warm, soft brie AND sweet unsalted butter. Just the thought of it puts me in a little trance.

                                    2. jason carey Dec 8, 2006 10:21 PM

                                      There is a good chance you bought substandard, bland brie, so if you find it dissapointing don't dispair; go to a top-quality cheese store and ask them if they have Brie de Meaux or Brie de Melun.. and if its the real deal.
                                      also it needs to be ripe and at room temprature.

                                      1. e
                                        emilief Dec 8, 2006 09:49 PM

                                        Just let it get to room temp and eat it with french baguette or crackers. By all means, please do not put it in a crust and bake it !

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: emilief
                                          paparouna Dec 10, 2006 09:14 PM

                                          thank you!! this is an argument i have with my father all the time!! he lives to bake it IN A puff pastry with rasberry... somewhere along the way mid-priced caterers did this and they have been wreaking havoc on the world of cheese lovers ever since!

                                          1. re: paparouna
                                            jfood Dec 11, 2006 12:15 AM

                                            we served this religiously in the 80's and 90's for our dinner parties. FYI - there was NEVER any left over, it was always a clean plate when we cleaned up. Call it what you might this item was a big favorite.

                                            1. re: paparouna
                                              amandine Dec 13, 2006 05:37 AM

                                              Amen! I thought I was the only one who HATES brie this way. Sweet + warm + cheese + pastry is such an overload!

                                              1. re: amandine
                                                choctastic Dec 25, 2006 06:32 AM

                                                yah, i never understood this one either.

                                            2. re: emilief
                                              soypower Dec 24, 2006 08:05 AM

                                              but i love the way the warm melted brie and salty, buttery, puff pastry tastes with crisp slices of granny smith apples! food snobs be darned, this is a truly YUMMY way to eat brie.

                                            3. p
                                              pp48 Dec 8, 2006 09:00 PM

                                              Oh my goodness--I do not know where to start!!

                                              First thing--Brie is best at room temperature. It goes well on crackers, fruit and simply by itself depending on ripeness.

                                              Second thing-Brie "ripens" through various stages. At first, it is a fairly firm cheese through-out; as it ages, the center gets softer and softer and can get to the point of "runny".

                                              Third-depending on what kind of Brie you bought (i.e. imported true French versus U.S. produced) will change some of the advice you receive.

                                              Fourth-you bought it at a grocery store--does it have a cheese counter or cheese section? Again this will tell us if it has been aged/conditioned.

                                              Also you should note, the rind is very edible!

                                              May I suggest that you just cut a sliver as it is now, let it warm up to room temp and try to describe the taste/texture especially of the interior.


                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: pp48
                                                yumyum Dec 9, 2006 08:49 PM

                                                Just have to chime in on edible rind -- eating the rind is part of the experience of eating the cheese. NOTHING makes me crazier than going to a party and having the other guests dig into a nice hunk of center to avoid the rind, leaving sort of a cave-like rind-only mess on the platter. Philistines! I'm going to stop partying with these people!

                                                1. re: yumyum
                                                  gini Dec 12, 2006 06:17 PM

                                                  Amen to that, yumyum. It's like they have an aversion to the texture change or something.

                                                  1. re: yumyum
                                                    amandine Dec 13, 2006 05:37 AM

                                                    yeah, it's very ugly, but I just look at it and think, "mm, more rind for meee!"

                                                    1. re: amandine
                                                      zanny39 Dec 23, 2006 07:41 PM

                                                      haha spoken like a true chowhound

                                                2. a
                                                  alyssi Dec 8, 2006 08:59 PM

                                                  Definitely better room temperature than cold. Keep it out over night. I would say get a good baguette or nice crackers to eat with it. It's also very good baked alone or with preserves (and served on baguette bread or crackers).

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