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I'm new to Brie so I'm curious especially about the top.

I'm most into the harder Cheeses (at least so far) so that's what I've stuck with most. I was interested in the soft Cheese that Brie is though, so I wanted to know as much as I could about it from those who've tried it a bit. With most Cheeses so far I haven't really had a "skin" to pull/cut off of the Cheese before eating it except only a few easily recognizable times. With Brie though, obviously there's that characteristic white area on it, ya know? When it comes down to it (& most importantly here) is it better &/or essential to cut the white "skin" off of Brie? I don't think so, but I still wanna be sure, ya know? Any help on this subject is appreciated.

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  1. It is referred to as the "rind" and is edible.

    2 Replies
    1. re: masha

      Do you like its taste though? Along with that, do you think that someone new to it (like myself) should "take it in" or not? Thanks for your reply too!

      1. re: ShowUsYourRack

        It is *meant* to be eaten with the rind. If you find it is too strong in flavor for you, perhaps get a milder or very young brie.

    2. The "top" is the same as the "bottom" and the "sides." Eat it all.

      11 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Yes, that is true, but the inside is still different, ya know? I'll go for it all though. That's just fine by me.

        1. re: ShowUsYourRack

          the inside is exactly the same as the outside -- the outside is just dried, and inhabited by a harmless white mold.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I was never scared about it. I was just curious & interested in how it worked as far as "character" & flavor goes, ya know? I know of many things that people often eat, yet for some people they'd admit to enjoying it much more without it. Sounds good to me though. I'll just compare it to the idea that some people like to eat their fish (depending of course what species it is) with it's skin while others would rather take it off. I'm one of those who highly prefers eating most of my fish with the skin on, so...

            1. re: ShowUsYourRack

              there's not even that much difference in taste...it's just drier.

              1. re: sunshine842

                That's pretty interesting just considering the thought behind it.

          2. re: ShowUsYourRack

            I get where you're coming from. I don't come from a cheese-eating culture at all, and remember being somewhat reluctant to eat that moldy part of brie. But it really doesn't taste like much of anything, so it's more the slightly leathery texture that takes getting used to, and the idea of deliberately putting something obviously moldy in your mouth. But if you eat eat blue cheese, you've eaten far gamier molds, so might as well go for it.

            1. re: ninrn

              It's more about the texture rather than the taste. I'm already as used to it as any other part of the Brie, yet it just doesn't feel the same & almost seems unnecessary at times. I like it, it tastes fine & I'm not scared or worried about trying it in any way. It's almost like trying to get to the ice cream before the tower falls down & blocks it off. To put it in a softer (no pun intended) way, it's like trying to get through the "fuzzy" top of a Peach before you get into it's beautiful, tasty, juicy flavor. Both parts are good, but the top just doesn't feel anywhere near as good as what's inside. You really gotta bite thru it! Oh well, Brie's good either way, thank goodness...lol.

              1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                "It's almost like trying to get to the ice cream before the tower falls down & blocks it off."

                I absolutely love this sentence, but what does it mean?

                1. re: ninrn

                  Have you ever heard of those covered Drumstick ones? At the same time it can also be based on when you were a kid & your parents grabbed it from you & told you that you've had enough & will be disciplined if you disobey them by eating some more. It can be taken in many ways, but that's the general idea.

                    1. re: ninrn

                      I guess that he REALLY enjoyed that one, huh...lol?

        2. I don't find that it really has any particular flavor at all -- and it sure doesn't taste significantly different than the lovely paste (that's the technical term) inside.

          I used to live in the Brie region of France -- you're supposed to eat the rind. It's mostly only children that cut it off.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            Good point, sunshine :) It really is the texture. While it's not a "stone-able" offense to cut the rind off,*I'll* certainly look down my nose at anyone other than children who do :) J/K.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Sounds like quite a "painting", huh...lol?

            2. Thanks for asking this question! I've been idly wondering this for years, just never bothered to look into it.

              15 Replies
              1. re: UTgal

                I'm glad that I could help you in this sort of way. It really was something to question (especially from those with a fair amount of experience with it), so I felt it was important to address here. It's a true "signature" to the Cheese without a doubt.

                1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                  if you get your hands on a *really* good Brie, the mould will grow back and cover the cut surfaces of your Brie (on the rare occasion that a wedge lasts that long.....)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      How would you judge your "really" good one(s)? No matter the price are there any top notch ones that you'd recommend?

                      1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                        sadly, it's pretty difficult to find a really good one outside of France - a true AOC Brie is made with raw milk.

                        US regs make it illegal to sell raw-milk cheeses aged less than 60 days...by which time a Brie is considered very mature.

                        If you can find a US producer making raw-milk Brie-style cheeses, go for it (and let me know...)

                        President is purely an industrial cheese, not even produced in the Brie region, but is pretty decent quality (considering it's pasteurized)

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          What about that which is imported from France? Is one that is imported from France really THAT (if at all) different from the ones "living" there?

                          1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                            President IS imported from France -- it's not a true Brie, but an industrial copy from another region of France.

                            And yes, there is a difference.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              As long as it's good, that's what really matters. If somebody really feel like they had to have only the stuff that comes directly from France, well then, I'd guess that they'd just have to spend quite a long time (or possible even live) in France, right...lol? I tried my type for the first time last night & ate it both with & without the top & enjoyed it more than I was thinking I would. I'm glad that I was courageous enough to try another new Cheese that I probably wouldn't have tried &/or desired unless it was a readily available product, ya see? For so long I stuck with & desired mainly hard/aged Cheeses, yet I still thought that I should try a soft one just to be brave & satisfy my curiousity, ya know? This caught my eye & I was glad to try it. Who knows what comes next for me, but let me tell you, I'm quite adventurous & am willing to try new things even if I were to find the Cheese that I thought would be the "be all, end all", ya know? On to the next one...

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  This does sound interesting & tempting. I'd like to check/try it out.
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reblochon

                          1. re: linguafood

                            Is it hard to find or is it seen often enough to catch near most big cities? At the same time, what is its cost for the most part?

                            1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                              My local Wegmans carries it; it's on the more expensive side of bries.

                              If you have TJ's, they have an extensive selection of bries from a variety of countries.

                              1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                true AOC Brie de Meaux (or it's little sister, Brie de Melun) is indeed hard to find anywhere in the US. It exists, but by the time it gets to the US, it's nearly too old, and it's very, very pricey.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Well, I'm glad to have tried it & enjoyed it more than I thought. Definitely a worthwhile purchase that I expect to search out even more. Last night I was watching the TV & had 3 Cheeses waiting out alongside me, one of them being the Brie. Well, you'd probably know how long it is to watch a Movie on TV & would understand that these Cheeses were out just long enough, right? I liked the Movie, yet was still considering the "action" that would be coming from these 3 Cheeses all the more, ya know? I tried the 1st one, then the 2nd one, then the Brie last which I ate both alone & inside a flatbread. Obviously I got a better sense of its true taste when I had it alone instead of with the flatbread. Alongside that, I had the Brie both with & without the top which happened to be desirable in all of these ways. Those 1st 2 Cheeses were nice, but I had the 3rd Cheese "on top of the mountain" for a reason. Yes, in the end, that Brie really did shake things up...lol! I guess it's time for some more now.

                    2. At a minimum, let it get to room temp and runny. Overnight on a counter under a cover is fine. It will last for days unrefrigerated. Look for French brie that has a yellowish color to the paste. I like the textural contrasts in brie, and I always eat the whole thing.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Veggo

                        Well, I really did have it out for a significant amount of time. It wasn't just 1 or 2 Movies, ya see? On top of that, I don't know if you noticed any of my previous comments, but I DID eat the whole thing not just the inside.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            I've heard quite often that if you're having a party with guests coming over, a Cheese plate should/could be left out for about 1.5 Hours & be ready. I've heard this directly from stores, people & other sources claiming that 1.5 Hours will be more than enough for a party. To each his own though I guess, right? I waited longer.

                            1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                              it's fairly common in Europe (not just in France) to just leave the cheese sitting on the counter in all but the hottest days of summer.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Everybody has their ways. Just like how people serve different things with different meals/snacks, ya know?

                                1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                  there was no indication there of what is right or wrong....simply adding information to the conversation.

                                  Ya know?

                                  1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                    Since sunshine lived in France until recently, I tend to take her advice about matters like cheese.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      oh, dear -- I wish I lived up to that! I'm no expert, but I know a few very well -- Brie, in particular, because I lived in the region and bought my cheese directly from the producer on more than a few occasions. There was almost always a wedge of one Brie or another in my kitchen the entire time we were there.

                                      (my heart still races at the sight of a room-temperature Brie doing its best to melt and slip off the edge of the plate -- no cheeseboards for these escape artists)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        If I were to live (or at least visit) a place exclusively for Cheese then France just might be that place. After all, France makes more good Cheeses than most other Countries/places, so...