Want to enjoy Brie cheese's gooey texture and delicious taste in 7 different ways? Read here to learn everything you need to know about how to eat Brie.
Do you love cheese? If so, you'll know that many types of cheese in the world offer unique flavors and textures that can elevate your mealtimes. If you're a fan of this dairy product, why not try a few new recipes that include delicious cheese in the ingredients?
Let's focus on one cheese specifically. We'll explore Brie cheese's origins, flavor, and tips to help you enjoy it. Then, we'll introduce you to several easy Brie recipes you didn't know you'd been missing in your life.
What Is Brie Cheese?
If you're brand new to Brie cheese, you may be wondering what's so wonderful about it. This soft-ripened French cheese is a favorite of many, and some regard it as a delicacy. It has a rich, buttery taste with a bit of a fruity flavor to it, as well. On the inside of a Brie wheel, you'll discover this cheese's earthy aroma and creamy texture.
Where Does Brie Cheese Come From?
You can only find authentic Brie cheese in France, but you can buy a delicious stabilized version at most local grocery stores since it's a wildly popular cheese. The name Brie comes from the French region where this cheese originated.
The legend of Brie cheese dates back to the 8th century when the French Emperor Charlemagne tasted this soft cheese at a monastery and became fascinated with its taste and texture. From there, legend has it that his influence on the people led many to appreciate this buttery cheese.
In France, this cheese is produced with pasteurized and unpasteurized raw milk. From there, cheese producers add enzymes and rennet to help the raw cow's milk curdle.
Once it forms into curds, producers separate it into round molds and drain the whey. After that, the cheese rests for a week. The total time it takes for this soft cheese to mature is four to six weeks.
When Should You Serve Brie?
Like many kinds of cheese, it's best to wait to serve Brie cheese until it has ripened. You can tell it's ripe when the outside of the rind is firm, and the inside has a bouncy consistency. It won't be ready if it feels too stiff or firm and will be overripe if the Brie seems runny.
If you want to serve cheese as the French do, you should serve it to your dinner guests as an individual course before your dessert. Doing this allows the Brie to have a moment in the spotlight. However, many people also serve Brie as an appetizer with fruit, meat, and crackers.
How To Prepare Brie
When you're serving Brie, you'll want to know when to remove it from the fridge and how to prepare it. A good rule of thumb is to remove this cheese from the refrigerator an hour before you want to serve it. Doing this will allow the cheese to soften until it's room temperature and its texture is perfectly creamy.
How To Serve Brie
Once your cheese has reached the proper temperature, you can remove any wax paper wrapping and set it on a serving tray. Try cutting a couple of slices to suggest a reasonable serving size to your dinner guests. Make sure to cut it into wedges, rather than slicing it as you would a block of hard cheese.
You won't need to spread Brie to enjoy it — just grab it right off the cheese board. You and your guests can cut a small piece and pair it with a bite of crusty bread (especially a baguette) or some dried fruit.
What Pairs Well With Brie Cheese?
You may be wondering what you should serve with your Brie cheese. Since this cheese is so rich, it makes an excellent complement to many foods and drinks. Acidic flavors help complement the velvety texture of Brie. Flaky, crumbly loaves of bread help highlight the Brie’s creaminess.
Here are a few ideas for what to serve with Brie.
- French bread
- Prosciutto or Salami
- Cabernet sauvignon
- Pinot noir
- Sauvignon blanc
Can You Eat the Rind of Brie Cheese?
As you cut into a wheel of Brie, you might be wondering whether you should also cut off the rind. There's no need for that. Many people enjoy the tasty Brie rind, and it's customary to enjoy it along with the rest of the wheel. When cutting Brie for your guests, leave the rind for them to savor!
How Should You Store Brie?
Once you and your guests have enjoyed your fill of your Brie cheese wheel, you'll want to store it away so you can enjoy it again. Once you cut into a wheel of Brie, it stops the ripening process in its tracks. To keep it fresh in storage, try wrapping it in wax paper and placing it in the fridge. Avoid using plastic wrap, as that stifles the cheese and doesn't allow for proper breathing.
Are There Any Substitutes for Brie?
If you're unable to find Brie at the grocery store, there are a few alternative kinds of cheese you might consider as an alternative.
For example, types of cheese that have a bloomy rind make an excellent substitution. Camembert, goat cheese, and chèvre are all appropriate alternatives to Brie. Camembert makes the best replacement of the three because of the white mold on its rind and creamy, buttery consistency.