Name: Brie de Meaux
Country of Origin: France
Milk Source: Cow
Age: 6-8 Weeks
Brie is perhaps the most iconic of all French cheeses. There are multiple varieties based on the producer and place of origin, including Brie de Melun and Brie de Mangis, but it is Brie de Meaux which is the original and most renowned brie, having once been declared the “King of Cheeses”. It is produced just outside of Paris by a handful of artisans and is one of only 40 cheese that are protected by French national law. Each 3 kg wheel requires 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of cow’s milks that must be molded by hand, dry salted, regularly turned and allowed to ripen for no less than 4 weeks in cellars that are held at a specific temperature and humidity.
People often confuse Brie and Camembert de Normandie, but the two have distinctly different profiles.
Brie de Meaux AOC has a smooth, soft texture with a buttery yellow color and earthy aromas of mold or mushroom that intensify with age until it smells of ammonia, at which point some will discard it while others enjoy its acrid bite. Most prefer brie for it’s creamy notes of milk and grass.
Avoid any advice to heat Brie de Meaux in the oven, and allow it to reach room temperature naturally before serving.
Stay true to the source and pair with a bold French red such as Côte-du-Rhone, Bordeaux, or Burgundy.
Store brie in its original paper wrap if possible. Otherwise use wax or cheese paper only. Plastic wraps prevents breathing. When the cut edges of brie are exposed, a beneficial mold will form that protects the creamy interior. Do not be alarmed, simply remove before serving.