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Best way to enjoy brie

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?

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  1. 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).

    1. 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.

      PP48

      4 Replies
      1. re: pp48

        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

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

          1. re: yumyum

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

            1. re: amandine

              haha spoken like a true chowhound

        2. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: amandine

                  yah, i never understood this one either.

              2. re: emilief

                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. 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. 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

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

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      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

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

                      1. 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

                          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

                            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

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

                              1. re: niki rothman

                                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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                              1. re: greenstate

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                              2. 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

                                                  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:

                                                  http://www.chow.com/stories/10072

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

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: niki rothman

                                                      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