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Weird Brie Cheese question

Hi Everyone - I have a weird question and so, I turn to Chow.

I don't eat a lot of cheese (unless it is in a dish), but as I've gotten older, I've started experimenting with wine and subsequently, cheese. Now, I do like brie cheese quite a bit, but am wondering WHY it is most often served with the waxy stuff still on?

I cannot bring myself to eat the wax, so I find myself avoiding brie in public situations. When I see people pop the whole wedge into their mouths, wax and all, I cringe.

I frequently chat with some people on a non-food related message board. I posed this question to them, most of them american, and was surprised to find out that it is rarely served this way in the US, the NE states seem to be one exception.

ANyone care to enlighten me? Also, how would you feel if you saw somebody eating around the waxy part? weird? rude? I tend to think so, so I just avoid it. At home though, I do what I want with my cheese! ;o)

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  1. it's not a weird questions, and it's perfectly acceptable NOT to eat the rind. sure, some people may think you're missing the best part, but it's a matter of personal preference.

    1. I'm confused- wax on brie? There is no wax on brie. There's a bloomy rind, but that is not wax.

      4 Replies
      1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

        Oh stop, you know perogy is talking about the rind. At first, i wasn't crazy about eating it, but now i actually like the rind. I do know people who cut around it, and if that is how you like it, i think it is just fine to do that.

        1. re: iluvtennis

          the OP kept referring to wax, I thought perhaps there was some confusion about the cheese- I've seen brie in tins, for instance, but I wouldn't eat it (the cheese or the tin).

          Better quality, younger soft-ripened cheeses tend to have a softer, more pliable rind. Perhaps the rind that the OP has experience is not in good condition in the first place. I make my rind-eating decisions on the condition of the rind- if it's tough and leathery, no. If it's bloomy and cottony and delicate, then yes.

          1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

            Yes, I did mean the rind - sorry for the confusion.

          2. re: iluvtennis

            I agree with caviar and chitlins....it is important that perogy know it is NOT wax, but a very edible rind! It is not a baby bell.....

        2. The wheels of brie are small, about 1 kg. and are aged for at least a month. There is no wax added to the surface, but the surrounding air causes a skin to form. Most people eat the skin,, and it is considered gauche to cut it off. Why? The French think this is an expensive luxury cheese, and would never waste any of it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayt90

            Some French eat the rind, some don't. I'd say it's pretty much 50/50. They always eat it with a knife and fork, and I've witnessed many a neat dissection of the rind from the rest.

          2. lots of French cheeses have an edible rind, camembert, chaume (though the orange paper is a pain to get off sometimes), brie. When the cheese is fresh there's nothing wrong with it, though I do cut it off if I have let the cheese dry out a bit which is sacriligious I know.

            1. You might try baking the brie and then trying eating it with the rind intact. Try this with nice crisp apple slices and and a good baguette. I used to be the same as you until I was served this at a French-style cafe back in the 80s. After that, I was sold on eating soft cheeses like brie whole.

              1. I'm happy to eat the rind on soft cheeses. My partner isn't. It's a matter of personal preferance.

                Of course, if you were being served this in a restaurnat in France, you'd have been given a knife and fork to eat it with, so you could have daintily cut the rind off if you wanted. Although as they'd serve it in perfect condition, you might find it too soft/runny to easily cut it off.

                1. I eat the rind. My wife does not, especially if the Brie is runny. Chacun a son goo.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: therealdoctorlew

                    "Goo?" That certainly describes a ripe Brie, but...

                    1. re: therealdoctorlew

                      hahaha.
                      I am assuming you mean: Chacun son goût.

                        1. re: therealdoctorlew

                          the real doctor lew, i appreciated your pun!

                          speakin' of goo, i've got to get that brie out of the fridge and eat it!

                    2. To answer your question, why is it served with the rind on?
                      After doing a little research, this is what I've found...
                      "Brie cheese ripens from the outside and the rind is the slightly hardened outer skin which has reacted with the molds and bacteria in the air. In a true brie, the rind is really tasty, if you are accustomed to eating very flavorful cheeses, although it can be overpowering if you only eat mild cheese. I've eaten French brie and can attest to this personally. However, in the US, brie has to be made with pasturized milk, which tends to keep the rind less flavorful."

                      So, basically, if you get the opportunity to consume brie in France (made with unpasteurized milk I am assuming), do so, and see how you feel about the rind.

                      I eat the rind sometimes, and sometimes I do not. It moreso depends on my mood. I don't think that anyone would consider you rude if you did this in a public area. Simply explain that you do not find the plain taste of the rind to be appealing, and that you feel that its waxy texture detracts from the excellence of the cheese (basically BS your way out of it haha). It is unlikely that it will be necessary though, as most people are not rude enough to dig at your personal eating habits.

                      Information borrowed from: http://askville.amazon.com/rind-brie-...

                      27 Replies
                      1. re: milkyway4679

                        Don't know why anyone should be expected to explain what they do/do not eat. It's no one's business.

                        1. re: milkyway4679

                          <<"Brie cheese ripens from the outside and the rind is the slightly hardened outer skin which has reacted with the molds and bacteria in the air. In a true brie, the rind is really tasty, if you are accustomed to eating very flavorful cheeses, although it can be overpowering if you only eat mild cheese. I've eaten French brie and can attest to this personally. However, in the US, brie has to be made with pasturized milk, which tends to keep the rind less flavorful.">>

                          That's baloney.

                          I followed your link to the next and the next, and it's just plain wrong.

                          Brie cheese doesn't ripen from the outside in. Brie cheese is made with two separate "molds" -- one that forms the rind, and one that makes the cheese on the inside. Geotrichum candidum is a fungus that is mechanically sprayed on the outside of the cheese. It forms the rind. When young, the rind tastes soapy, sharp and acrid. It looks white and fluffly. As it ages, the rind becomes flatter and ivory colored, and develops beige cracks. The taste changes too, then, and the rind tastes more like the interior of the cheese.

                          The interior of the cheese is made by Penicillium camemberti, a mold that also makes Camembert cheese. It also changes flavor and form as it ages, going from a firm set solid to a liquidy flavorful goo. If the cheese looks like it's deflated a bit, it's ready. But too much aging or lack of proper storage and the cheese will smell like ammonia.

                          So if you don't like the rind, chances are the Brie is not yet ripe. If the rind is white and fluffy, and if the cheese is firm and not oozing, it's not ready. Wait for the cheese to age, and re-try the rind. It won't taste acrid or sharp or like soap then. It's a question of age.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            maria,

                            Usually I dig your science, but you've got a couple of things in your statement that are not completely correct.

                            Bries are surface ripened, and so indeed ripen from the outside in, because of the treatment to the rind, which contribute to the flavor of the interior cheese as well as the texture of both rind and cheese. What is sprayed onto these surface-ripened cheeses used to be p. camemberti, but as this mold tends to turn a grayish color, more commonly these days p. candidum is used for the white color. The geotrichum is often used in a ratio with the p. candidum to help the rind adhere to the cheese.

                            Different cheesemakers use different ratios to achieve the desired result.

                            1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                              C&C, I've left messages for a couple of cheese microbiologists to steer me in the right direction. While I'm waiting to hear back from them, I've been reading about the evolution of the "molds" used to make Brie, changing from penicillium camemberti and oidium lactis, to penicillium caseicolum and geotrichum candidum.

                              I'll report back when I learn more and get some sort of definitive answer.

                              1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                                C&C and milkyway4679,

                                Earlier, I commented on this passage:
                                <<<"Brie cheese ripens from the outside and the rind is the slightly hardened outer skin which has reacted with the molds and bacteria in the air. In a true brie, the rind is really tasty, if you are accustomed to eating very flavorful cheeses, although it can be overpowering if you only eat mild cheese. I've eaten French brie and can attest to this personally. However, in the US, brie has to be made with pasturized milk, which tends to keep the rind less flavorful.">>>

                                I've yet to speak with the second microbiologist I've called, but I wanted to explain more clearly where I was coming from when I wrote that there were inaccuracies in this passage.

                                From talking to cheesemakers and doing a little scientific reading, my understanding is that there are two separate ripening actions in Brie cheese -- one on the outside with the rind, and one on the inside with the cheese itself or the paste.

                                The cheese interior -- the paste -- ripens on its own usually with
                                p. camemberti. The rind of the cheese ripens using fungi that, over time, penetrate into the interior of the cheese.

                                So to call brie cheese surface-ripened isn't quite accurate. Yes, the surface rind does ripen, and then invades the interior of the cheese. But the interior of the cheese is being ripened all along separately. I've also read that when the surface fungi's mycelium penetrate to the deep interior of the cheese, they stop the ripening action of the cheese paste.

                                There are really four different styles of Brie cheese: the high-quality French exported Brie, the lower-quality exported Brie, the Brie made here in the US in a true French style, and that made in an industrial style.

                                Most of the exported French Brie is made differently from the Brie that is not exported. Some of the higher-quality stuff gets here to the US, though. In the lower-quality stuff, different "molds" are used that create a firmer rind and firmer cheese. One cheese microbiologist, Neville McNaughton, calls this sturdy style "the Havarti of Brie."

                                The higher-quality exported Brie tastes like the real deal -- the cheese gets runny and gooey, the shape collapses, the rind changes color and becomes mellow in flavor. A little more per pound, but the flavor is worth it, IMO.

                                McNaughton went on to say that the "molds" used in the higher-quality US-made Brie actually produce a Brie that is more French in style than most of the imported French Brie.

                                The industrially made US Brie looks, tastes, and smells like the exported "Havarti" French Brie.

                                As to the rind tasting yucky:
                                Both the industrially made US Brie and the lower-quality exported French Brie will taste and look much the same. The rind never loses its acrid, akaline, soapy quality, and the cheese paste never seems to get runny. The cheese doesn't seem to age in the same way over time. It may be this type of Brie whose rind Perogy, our OP, has had and doesn't like.

                                But the rind any *young* Brie of any style will also have that acrid, akaline, soapy quality.

                                So the guideline for our OP is, I guess, buy a high-quality US or French-made Brie, and avoid the Brie that looks sturdy -- like a slice of a tart -- with a pasty white rind. Additionally, make sure the Brie isn't young. Work with a cheese counter person or a cheesemonger, and ask for tiny tastes of different good-quality Bries that are *ready.*

                                When I talk to the second microbiologist, I'll write an update and offer some scientific citations if I can. A quick look at recent microbiology articles state a mix of surface fungi, and the p. camemberti on both on the surface and in the paste.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  thanks maria lorraine, that's a good report.

                            2. re: milkyway4679

                              Most French Brie is made from pasteurized milk now, according to EU guidelines. Some is shipped to North America, and can easily be compared to Quebec or American Brie from pasteurized milk.

                              1. re: jayt90

                                I realize this is an old post, but NO. Real French Brie, as in Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun -- that with a real AOC or AOP attached, are made with raw milk. It's part of the rules written about the AOC/AOP.

                                If it's just called Brie, then it could be made in Tijuana, and could be made with canned milk for all anybody knows. But if it has a location listed - Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun are AOCs, and can only be produced in the region between Paris and Champagne -- it is absolutely, positively made with raw milk. Brie de Nemours, Brie de Nangis, Brie de Montmoreil and the other "lesser" Bries are also proudly made with raw milk.

                                And after having visited a couple of cremeries where they still make Brie by hand, I can tell you that they aren't sprayed with anything in a true artisanal production...the air in the cave becomes rich with the spores of the bacteria, and the white mold grows on its own.

                                And that cremerie-made Brie? Oh yeah. Worth every extra centime and every extra kilometre to get it.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Agree wholeheartedly. Meaux in particular is the best-kept secret near Disneyland Paris. Was just there in time for the fête de la patrimoine and they had tons of Brie, in every conceivable state of raffinement, smoked, baked en croûte, the works... unbelievable. And just down the road 20 minutes or so is Coulommiers, for even more wonderful cheese.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    It's actually a really nice area...pity it sits in Disney's shadow all the time.

                                    Coulommiers is its own cheese -- closely related to Brie, but a smaller round with a different taste. Sadly, not a protected origin, so do read the label to see where it's made. If the postcode of the producer starts with a 77, it's probably the real thing.

                                    (The 77 designation, by the way, will also guide you to a Brie made in the Brie region.)

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      This is a good tip in general: post codes in France are assigned by département ("county", I guess), with each one having a code. License plates are assigned that way too, with the last two digits showing the département it comes from.

                                      So if you're looking for real saucisson lyonnais, you want a 69xxx or 01xxx postcode; Champagne needs to come from 10xxx or 51xxx, and Camembert comes from 14xxx.

                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                        Champagne WILL come from 10 or 51, because it's illegal to call it Champagne (note the capital C) unless it's grown in that area.

                                        Even California respects that one -- they call it method Champenoise.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Well, the same with Camembert or Calvados (though Calvados can come from three or four départements in Basse-Normandie).

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                            No - Camembert a a standalone word isn't AOP or AOC -- but "Camembert de Normandie" IS.

                                            Always look for the magic AOC or AOP labels -- they're the ones that tell you that you're getting the Real McCoy....and that you're pretty likely getting something from a small producer. Not always, but frequently.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I have bought French brie that was made from pasteurized milk. I haven't checked for an AOC on the label. I guess that is another step in getting raw milk cheese from the EU, an exception to the general rule.

                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                all the French brie that's sold in the US is made from pasteurized milk, because it's illegal to sell raw-milk cheeses in the US unless they have been aged more than 60 days. By 60 days, Brie is no longer all that great. (Unless it's Brie noir, which is very, very aged Brie that has gone quite firm and has a rather assertive flavor...and I've never seen it sold outside the Brie region.)

                                                Pasteuried brie is sold in France, too -- most notably the President brand...but it's made in a big factory, and it's not *real* Brie. That's what's sold in the US.

                                                Real Brie is made in the Brie region to the east of Paris -- it will say Brie de xxx
                                                (Meaux and Melun are the AOCs, but there are a half-dozen others)...and by law it MUST be raw-milk, therefore by law it can't be sold in the US.

                                        2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                          License plates are no longer the way you describe. EU regs changed that recently. They now come with various letters and numbers, but there is a small sticker on far right that has the old 2 digit number code. Problem is now when registering for the plates, you may select the 2 digit number based on whatever you wish, home, dream home, favorite area, favorite number, whatever. There is a small 'F' to denote plate as France. Thus the cheese delivering your St Maure is a car with a plate that says Loire valley, may be from anywhere.

                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                            True, but irrelevant to this particular discussion -- and they didn't change *all* the license plates -- it's a rolling change as new registration plates are issued, so there's still plenty of the old ones still on the road that have the department number as the last two digits on the plate.

                                            I'm talking about the label on the cheese itself, whether on a wooden carton, on a plastic overwrap, or a paper label laid on the cheese itself in a market...if it arrives on a truck leased from Nice (06) delivering to a fromager in Bordeaux (33) who drives it to the market in Saintes (17) in his mother-in-law's car that's registered in Caen (14), it doesn't make a brie made in President's factory in the Mayenne (53) any more authentic...nor does it make a Brie made in Melun in the Seine-et-Marne (77) any less so.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              l said 'they now come' not 'all'. Many cheeses are sold in Paris without the outer wrap visible when a large round as Meaux or Melun. No one is questioning the sourcing of product in France, l was just answering the posters license plate comment. But l will bet that one day the Belgians in the EU have their way and the raw milk Brie you crave will be compromised. It has happened to Muenster, Camembert, Epoisses, Vacherin Mont D'or and others.Even J Gaugry now has a thermalized Epoisses. It bothers me greatly but this is what they call progress. l felt when Isigny changed to thermalized and got the AOC to accept it as AOC camembert, the writing was on the wall.

                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                the AOC for Camembert is "Camembert de Normandie" No Normandie? Not the real thing.

                                                Munster is an AOC unto itself (not counting that bastardization thereof sold in the US...now THAT was a shock to my naive young palate!)

                                                the AOC for Epoisses is "Epoisses de Bourgogne" (gotta have the name again)

                                                Vacherin Mont d'Or is an AOC, too -- but it's Swiss, not French

                                                Here's a list of a wide, though incomplete, selection of French cheeses, including their AOC, if applicable:

                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                Bottom line is, you have to look for the AOC or AOP to know if it's "the real thing" as designated by the AOC. The department helps...but it takes doing your homework.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  Again, though, lack of AOC does not *necessarily* mean inferior quality. Someone could be making Brie de Boulevards Maréchaux, which is not AOC or AOP but could very well be a good product. It just isn't the "mother" product.

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                    absolutely true...I was coming from the standpoint of a US shopper trying to find a non-industrial cheese...

                                                    but yes -- there are lots of amazing foods of *all* sorts out there that don't have an AOC (Coulommiers being a prime example!)

                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                    Gaugry AOC now is thermalized, saw it last week at Lenoir market. The Muenster bastardization you speak of was also AOC and sold at Galleries Lafayette

                                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                      "Muenster bastardization thereof" is referring to the fact that the stuff labeled as Muenster in the US bears little to no resemblance to French Muenster other than the color of the paste...the stuff in the US is extremely mild tasting, and was a shock to my then young and rather naive palate at the time (I figured hey, it's Munster, I know what that is) -- it nearly knocked me off my chair. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've avoided buying the stuff since then, because it was such a smack across the mouth! I do need to go back and try it again.

                                                      The presence of an AOC doesn't necessarily mean that it's pasteurized or raw mil, only that it's a recognized regional name that is protected and described by law. AOC (and to a lesser degree, AOP) means that the use of the name is restricted to a specified geographic area and a rather stringent set of specifications about the production and/or raising of the product itself. (other AOC products include whole chickens ...chestnuts... walnuts... prunes... Champagne...hundreds of other wines...etc., etc., etc)

                                                      If the specification calls for pasteurized milk to earn the AOC nomenclature, then it MUST be made with pasteurized milk, or it cannot legally carry that name. (Muenster, coincidentally, is one of the AOCs that must be made with pasteurized milk to earn the label.)

                                                      If the specification calls for raw milk, then anything made with pasteurized milk cannot by law carry that particular name. Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun, since they are the topic of this page, both are AOCs (appellation d'origine controlee -- controlled origin name)...the specs of the AOC call for raw milk...therefore any time you see the phrase "Brie de Meaux" or "Brie de Melun", it will, by definition, be made with raw milk.

                                                      The entire AOC/AOP process gets confusing quickly....and I'm getting the feeling that it's the AOC/AOP designations that are tripping you up, and not the cheeses themselves (especially since hundreds of non-cheese products carry AOCs and AOPs, as well).

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        Best munster l had was from Haxaire in LaPoutrie. It was AOC and raw, now their welsche is pasteurized and the regular munster-gerome can be either
                                                        depending where you get it.

                                              2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                Yes, but the postal codes haven't changed, so looking at them is a good way to try and get the real deal. Obviously AOC status is the best way to do it, but not all products have AOC, and there are some excellent but unprotected products. Saint-André, for example, has no AOC, so your best bet for traditional St.-André is to look for a 50xxx postal code indicating it comes from the region near Coutances.

                                                I do think it's funny when people decide to affix 2A or 2B tabs to their new plates in order to intimidate people and make them think they're Corsican.

                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                  St Andre has always been from pasteurized milk, thus the origin of the milk may be less important. It has been made in other regions but the differences are more due to the work of the maker than the milk in the first place.

                                  2. Gotta agree with everyone here- not everyone likes the rind. When eating brie I always try some of the rind first. If it's good, I'll eat it. If not, I don't eat it.

                                    And if you don't like the rind, look in the cheese section of your supermarket for a brie spread.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: jayt90

                                        I've tried it, and it's not half bad. I still greatly prefer the real thing, though.

                                    1. I'm a fence-sitter when it comes to eating the rind. I like a bit of rind, but not a lot, so what I tend to do, if I'm just eating brie as brie, and not in a sandwich or some other preparation, is leave the top and bottom on, and cut the rind off the edges. Then I get some rind, but not a lot. If it's going in a sandwich, the rind can stay, since it's not such a powerful force.

                                      1. during college, we had a roommate who came home drunk one night and ate the cut-off brie rinds that we had lazily left on a plate in the living room. after that, we dubbed her "annie of the cheese rinds"! ;-)).

                                        1. perogy: here's an idea for a new flavor you might want to try (decadent and delicious):
                                          place whole small brie round on baking sheet, add a tablespoon of butter and a 1/4 cup sliced almonds on top, put in 300 degree (F) oven till brie softens, butter melts, almonds toast. remove, cut and smear on a great crusty french baguette. with a little light chardonnay or fumé blanc, this is a heavenly meal.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            I love this little recipe. LOVE IT. Will try it tomorrow with a new wine a friend brought over for me.

                                            1. re: oheaven

                                              don't the almonds really "make" it!?!

                                          2. Had some friends over for cocktails and served brie, shrimp, etc. They had their 2 year old with them. I don't eat the rind of brie so I took some brie and put the rind in the bowl with the shrimp tails. Next thing I know his Mother is asking him what he's eating - you guessed it my brie rind lol!!! Guess he'll always like it. I'm in Aruba and didn't see where it came from as DH bought it.

                                            1. I really shouldn't read food posts before breakfast.

                                              Now I'm craving Brie, Cambozola, Brillat Savarin, Sainte Maure...generally with the rind on (better quality rinds are phenomenal; many of the cheaper versions I've tried have a rubbery rind which even searing and smashing into a toasted baguette with lots of Maille and slices of fresh tomatoes can't help much).

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Caralien

                                                i'm pretty happy with the trader joe's bries -- there are several sources, and in varying degrees of richness. sometimes i actually prefer the double creme to the triple creme, but i think i've tried them all. i like to eat it, too, on their "everything" crisps. also, their water crackers are SO much cheaper than carr's!

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  LOVE TJ's double creme brie on a TJ's pepper & poppy seed water cracker. Gooey creamy crispiness at a fair price!

                                                  "Hey kids, get your shoes, we're going to Trader Joes". :)

                                                2. re: Caralien

                                                  We just finished a wheel of Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam. The rind had a nice mushroom flavor. I'm regretting having finished it after reading your post - it would have been great with a nice warm batard and some fruit for breakfast... :(

                                                  1. re: Caralien

                                                    Yeah, I'm dreaming of a nice Explorateur, and it's 8 AM and I have to go to work and there is no Explorateur in my immediate future.

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      I'm getting fat just thinking of this notion... :)

                                                  2. I only like a tiny bit of brie with rind, I won't eat very much brie to begin with because the goozy texture gets to me after a short time. My husband won't eat ANY of the rind and flips out when he sees me eating it because in his head it's garbage.

                                                    1. it's not wax, it's rind (mold)
                                                      i never thought about not eating it. my mom fed me ripe brie and camembert and stilton and all those things when i was tiny, so it's perfectly acceptable to me.
                                                      my husband, who was brought up on roast beef and taters, doesn't feel the same way.
                                                      to each his own! eat what you like.

                                                      1. Met brother's girlfriend for the first time last night, who was scooping the soft part out of the St Andre and leaving the rind. I almost made a snarky comment but decided to be more gracious and went for the rind myself.

                                                        So, rind-eaters may be amused that you haven't learned to like it yet, but not eating it is not any more rude than someone else commenting on you not eating it.

                                                        Now that you are enjoying experimenting with cheese, start trying a little of the rind (safely, in the privacy of your own home). Give it a few tries and you may learn to like it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: babette feasts

                                                          Our kids are just starting to appreciate the rind on soft cheeses - they always thought it was inedible and that we were gross for eating the "spoiled" part until I placed a small piece on a nice warm slice of baguette, drizzled a little bit of honey on it, and told them to close their eyes and open their mouthes. I might have inadvertently created some serious competition for the part that I used to consider mostly mine...

                                                        2. I've never been a fan of the rind of Brie, and so usually cut it off. For those like me I discovered D'Affenois cheese, which looks like brie, has a more buttery inside than brie, and has a very mild flavored rind, which I gobble up. D'Affenois cheese has solved all my brie worries!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: kimfair1

                                                            Fromager d'Affinois (froh-mah-'zhay dah-fee-'nwah) is a double-cream cheese (Brie is either single-cream [up to 60% butterfat], double-cream (60-75% butterfat] or triple-cream [over 75% butterfat]) and it is made much quicker than Brie because the water is removed from the cheese instead of having the whey drain away. It's a very modern cheese in that the process required to make it has only existed for the last thirty years or so.

                                                            The fact that it can be made in 15 days instead of 60 also means that the rind is not as, hm, pungent as on a Brie.

                                                            If you like the buttery-ness of Fromager d'Affinois you should seek out Brillat-Savarin, which is a triple-cream cheese and is quite possibly the richest cheese on earth, or Explorateur, which is a close, close second.

                                                            1. re: kimfair1

                                                              Yes, exactly. It's the only kind of brie I'll have now.

                                                            2. "wondering WHY it is most often served with the waxy stuff still on? ... I frequently chat with some people on a non-food related message board. I posed this question to them, most of them american, and was surprised to find out that it is rarely served this way in the US, the NE states seem to be one exception."

                                                              Huh? I've never seen brie cheese served without the rind. Maybe you said "wax" on the other board?

                                                              I was like you when I was younger, before I developed a taste for cheese (I didn't like blue cheese then, either). It looked inedible (like the wax on gouda) so I always cut around it, but when I found out it was OK to eat, I tried it and it was fine. I think most people who like cheese eat the rind, but if you don't like it you shouldn't feel obligated to eat it. In a cocktail-party type public situation you may find it difficult to nibble around the rind gracefully, but I wouldn't find it weird or rude.

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                                                              1. re: hsk

                                                                I'm not fond of brie rind -- the texture more than the taste. It's perfectly acceptable to cut yourself a piece and then cut off the rind and leave it on your plate. What's not acceptible is to scoop out the "paste" and leave hollow rind on the platter (unless it's specifically being served that way).

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  Bingo.

                                                                  You must take the rind with your portion.

                                                                  It is also extraordinarily bad form to take a piece from the center without also taking the rind of the outer edge.

                                                                  I should add that I've never seen Brie served sans rind. And if it's baked in pastry, you're certainly eating the rind unless you froze (and de-natured) the round and removed the rind from a semi-frozen round.

                                                              2. I wish there was some way I could buy just the ring. I think it's the best part!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. Brie is in my top five favourite cheeses. I've been eating it since I was a small child. Never have I seen it served without the rind, nor have I noticed anyone not eating the rind.

                                                                  Baked brie is a lovely thing, but my favourite way is to just eat a slice plain with some fruit.

                                                                  1. I bought 5 packets of some unpasteurised Brie de Meaux from Morrisons supermarket in NW England as it was reduced to only 29p for 175g. It was best before Sep 20th 2009 and I have kept in the cupboard. It is now VERY strong tasting and very orange! Lovely now!

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                                                                    1. re: christopherbingham

                                                                      uh-oh, christopher bingham never posted again after this.....

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        Well, I hope he enjoyed his last meal.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          yeah, because the presence of orange indicates the presence of some pretty nasty creatures.

                                                                          Brie should never, ever be anything but snowy white (with perhaps some of the brownish rind showing through)...if it's black, orange, or pink, it needs to go directly to the bin.

                                                                          and Brie shouldn't ever, EVER be strong (unless it's Brie noir, which is pretty brassy)

                                                                      2. I will eat the rind almost always. i really prefer it at room temp. the one time i enjoyed it from the oven it had a homemade jalapeno raspberry preserve served with it and it was pretty amazing. triscuits are my cracker of choice, but i'm sure i'm in the minority there. Enjoy!

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