Brie Cheese

The best known cheese in France, Brie has the nickname “The Queen of Cheeses”.  This classic, taste bud-seducing cheese is always first to disappear from the cheese plate.  Brie is a soft, luscious cheese that is enveloped in a downy white rind.  This rind is edible and not intended to be separated from the cheese before consumption.  Its creamy flavor and buttery interior is easy to spread and melts seductively when warm.  Brie is delicious when paired with tart fruits, hearty breads and crunchy nuts.  As an ingredient, Brie compliments rich sauces, adds zest to fluffy quiches and turns ordinary stuffing into a moist treat. 

Brie may be produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk.  The curd is obtained by adding rennet to raw milk and heating it to a maximum temperature of 99 degrees F.  The cheese is then cast into molds.  The mold is filled with several thin layers of cheese and drained for approximately 18 hours.  The cheese is then taken out of the molds, salted, inoculated with cheese mold and aged in a cellar for at least four to five weeks. 

If left to mature for longer, typically several months to a year, the cheese becomes stronger in flavor and taste and the rind darker and crumbly, and is called Brie Noir (black brie).  In France, people enjoy soaking this in Cafe au lait and eating it for breakfast.  Over-ripe brie contains an unpleasant, excessive amount of ammonia.

Brie is named after Brie, the French province in which it originated.  However, Brie has been made in Canada since the French colonization.  Perfected over the years, this Brie easily stands up against its transatlantic cousin.  Eiffel Tower Canadian Brie has a minimum of 60% butterfat, which gives this cheese its creamy, soft buttery texture.

Brie is a perfect match with champagne.  Salute!

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