Description

Wisconsin has become an important source of brie for American consumers. French cheese producers have chosen to make this cheese in Wisconsin because the composition of milk closely resembles that of the French regions. The bloomy rind on brie results from Penicillium candidum, a white mold applied to the surface. The mold produces enzymes which ripen the cheese from the outside in and occurs in just a matter of weeks, giving this cheese a rich, earthy mushroomy flavor that changes from mild when young to pungent with age. Available plain and flavored, brie has a soft and creamy interior with a snowy white edible rind.

Appearance

Pale ivory

Texture

Rich, creamy

Flavor

Mild to pungent, depending upon age Rich, earthy mushroom

Serving Suggestions

Wrap brie in puff pastry, brush on egg wash and bake for a sophisticated appetizer ("brie en croute"). Chunk and toss with candied pecans, mixed greens and balsamic vinegar. Try a wedge of these creamy cheeses topped with sweet chutney. Use slices of brie to add the finishing touch to a turkey and cranberry sandwich.

Goes Well With

High-moisture fruits such as melons, grapes and berries; sundried tomatoes Sparkling wines, champagnes or Pinot Noir For a special treat, try a cherry lager or other craft beer infused with fruit

Styles/Varieties

Wisconsin cheesemakers also produce brie flavored with herbs, black pepper or sundried tomato and basil.

Performance Note

Brie and camembert taste almost identical; some say camembert develops a more intense flavor. For best flavor and texture, bring to room temperature prior to serving. When baked briefly or heated in a microwave oven, whole cheeses in this category maintain their integrity while the interior softens.

  Cold Surface Broil Oven (in recipe) Oven (surface) Direct Heat (in suspension)
Sliced
Cubed
Shaved
Shredded
Grated
Crumbled
Spooned/Spread

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