Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Apr 1, 2009 10:07 PM

A cheesy mystery.....

Hello all!

I recently asked a friend to pick up wedge of Brillat Savarin cheese for me.....what I have on my hands (besides a very kind friend :) is about 1/2 pound of a cheese that has me a little baffled . Though I see the lettering "avarin" on a seal, it has no bloomy rind, as I'd expected. It seems almost like a rich, slightly tangy, and very delicious cream cheese, but not at all like a ripened cheese.

Anyone want to take a shot at figuring out what I'm eating (and serving with a dessert course this weekend?)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Without more of description it would be hard to say exactly what it is. Does it have a washed rind or has the bloom not developed. If the cheese is too young it may be denser, like cream cheese and that could explain the lack of bloom. What is the flavor like? Does it have that rich grassy, milky flavor that Brillat Savarin has?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lenox637

      No rind whatsoever. The texture is almost exactly like a chevre, but smoother in spreading texture- it'sa semi-firm half moon of it sitting in the plastic wrap. It's not at all like the texture of Camembert or Brie, which was what I was expecting.

      I'd say the flavor is milky and slightly tangy, but I'm not sure as a point of comparison- this was to be (or is?) my first experience with Brillat Savarin!

    2. Hello as "Fromage Lover" You have a real beauty on your hands,,Similar to Bries it has a nice flavor as you stated,, I would leave it out 30 mins or more to soften and maybe add other cheeses if u need, Cheddar(aged),Blue-Veined(Roquefort) with some nice bread or crackers..Add some fresh berries for garnish..A good Dessert wine , Sauternes, Ports are a nice drink choice as well to finish the evening,, Enjoy,,

      1. From "Cheese Primer" by Steven Jenkins: "Brillat can't be too young . . . . It certainly is permissible for the cheese to be a bit 'seasoned,' not really aged, but allowed to pass that stage where it resembles a curd more than a cheese and to the point where it 'blondes up,' or becomes a smooth, suspended paste, too rich to run or even bulge. At this point it becomes what it is--a thick 'confection-sauce,' if you will, for fruit."

        Does that sound right?

        1 Reply
        1. re: JoanN

          It IS certainly smooth.....but smooth like cream cheese or chevre. "too rich to run or bulge". ....that didn't immediately come to mind for me. But from reading Delucacheesemonger's description below, that might be exactly what I have on my hands- an underdeveloped, young Brillat Savarin. Interesting.....

          In any case, this morning, bits were scrambled into a broken omelet that was sandwiched between two thin, toasted slices of Vienna bread. It seemed like sacrilege, but the textural resemblance to cream cheese inspired the creation....and it was very good!

          Thanks for your input, everyone- will definitely keep my eyes open for Gratte Paille (and at some point, an "appropriately aged" Brillat Savarin! :)

        2. Probably kept too cold while aging and never developed. Reason 'cream cheese' is with 75% matiere grasse, butterfat, will be just like cream cheese. Once cut, will not age. If you ever want one of the best triples seek out Gratte Paille, same region less salt, great product, and small so you get the entire thing and age to your choice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Does anybody know if anybody around San Francisco reliably carries Gratte Paille?
            I've had it at a resto in Palo Alto a long time ago and may have seen it once
            at Cheeseboard, but I stopped asking them if they had it ... doesnt seem to be in
            their usual collection.

            Brillat Sav is always a crowd please with my friends and associates. I agree when it gets
            a little aged and starts to taste a bit salty it is nice to spread on a stone fruit say and

            1. re: psb

              Cheeseworks is an importer, product made by Robert Rouzaire, who also makes a nice Brillat-Savarin. Find a store who uses them as supplier and there you go. Problem is unlike BS, GP has a short season, do not know why.

            2. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Gratte Paille is one of my favourites. The British version of Whole Foods (Waitrose) stocks it and it's relatively cheap and delicious.

              1. re: greedygirl

                Worked for Whole Foods for a while. It should be half as good as Waitrose, l loved Waitrose. Gratte Paille means fat straw, since in the village there was a very narrow corner and when a hay truck went by, it squished off some of the straw on the building. The cheesemaker raw out, got the straw, and used it as the bed for his cheese, no longer same method, but great story.