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May 30, 2009 01:15 PM

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 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.