Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Dec 17, 2011 01:01 PM

Brie cheese

I purchased brie cheese and want to put in puff pastry. I opened the container and took the paper off but under that was a layer of what I thought looked like tissue paper. I called the store and asked if should also cut this off. They called this brine. What do yo think I should do?? My son said it doesn't melt so I should remore it (cut it off). What is the correct answer?
Thank you

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That is the rind. It is edible. When doing a brie en croute, I either leave it on or just remove the top.
    Your son is correct in saying that it doesn't melt, but I quite like the textural difference and it helps the melted wheel stay together a bit more once it's cut into.

    1. Some people like it, some don't. It was an acquired taste for me, I enjoy it. Some people do cut off a bit of the top, then put honey, nuts, or a preserve, then encase in the pastry.
      Yummmmmmmm. I've been thinking about doing some for our family Christmas eve.

      1. As others have said, it's a completely edible rind that some folks like and some don't. I like it fine, but when I bake en croute, I use a plane style cheese slicer to take it, and only it and not any brie, off the top before wrapping in pastry. My favorite topping, if using any, is a bit of drizzled honey.

        1. Brie rind is completely edible, & in my opinion is part of the enjoyment of the cheese. If you don't like it, you may want to look into processed Brie products where there's no rind.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Breezychow

            That's ridiculous... lots of folks enjoy good aged brie but not the rind, it's purely personal taste. Why should that mean they should buy processed cheese food instead?

            1. re: mcf

              You are paying for the rind you discard, maybe 1/3 of the original weight. A "without the rind" product would be practical for those who don't care for the rind if it were high quality. I tried one on a half-off promo, and I didn't care for it.

              I like the rind, and higher quality cheeses. There may not be shortcuts for the real deal.

              1. re: Veggo

                My observations in France over about 40 years leads me to conclude that people who eat the Brie rind or don't. are about 50/50. I think it really is a matter of personal preference. I like the rind on Camembert, and most washed-rind cheeses, but the rind on Brie tastes like old gym socks to me. And it's usually thick enough to mess with the texture of the cheese.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I think I am more hard-core than the average cheese mouse. I want my Epoisses to absolutely stink by Christmas day, and I eat the rind on 5-year gouda.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Whoa! You eat the rind on 5-year Gouda? I have one in the fridge and will take a trial bite tomorrow. I'm skeptical, though.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      5 year gouda is salted crack, and the waxy rind is cheese jerky.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Well, I'll give it a try, but if it makes me barf, I'll be sending you a package.

            2. re: Breezychow

              I think the OP just didn't know what to do and needed advice about wrapping brie in the recipe she had. She didn't say she didn't like it - just seems she has no experience with it. I think the advice given is good for this situation and much more helpful than to suggest replacing real cheese with processed cheese food.

              1. re: Breezychow

                There's always been a fair bit of snobbery around eating the rind, but the truth is, if you don't like it, don't eat it. There are MANY professional cheese people that find that while the rind on a soft-ripened cheese contributes to the taste of the paste in aging, eating it is another story. The rind itself has such a textural and taste difference as to detract from the flavor of the cheese in general, and many avoid it.

                My caveat- most bries that you would bake- avoid the rind. A young delicate creature with a fine rind (not a leathery exterior), enjoy.

                1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                  So I guess the Berthaut Epoisses I bought today is more egalitarian?

                  1. re: Veggo

                    ce n'est pas la meme chose, monsieur. But, if you enjoy the rind, by all means eat it. But if you prefer that gooey, meaty paste without it, who's harmed? Even the beautiful Vacherin Mont d'or is traditionally eaten by cutting an X in the top, peeling back the rind and eating like fondue.

                    Anyway, high quality washed rinds rarely get to the dry, leathery consistency of many cheaper bries, and cheap brie is no comparison to a ripe Berthaut Epoisses.

                    1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                      The rinds on washed rind cheeses vary from utterly delicious to gritty, bitter and inedible. The thin rind on an Epoisses is, for me, in the utterly delicious category and eating it along with the silky, seductive paste is a great pleasure.

                      With respect to the OP's question, it's hard to give an answer that fits all situations. Some people won't eat the rind of any cheese, although a top quality Brie that is served just ripe has a rind that is eminently edible. However, much of the Brie that is sold, especially in the US, is not best quality. Industrially made Bries often feature rinds that are tough, bitter or chemical in flavor. I would recommend tasting a bit of the rind. If you find it off-putting, chances are others will, too.

              2. You can either leave it on, or take off just the top. It will be great either way. It is easy to skip eating the rind once it is baked and gooey. I like it, but it took me a while b/c it can be bitter.