Many people claim to have never met a cheese they didn’t like. However, brie tends to be a bit of a mystery to some people. Often thought of as special occasion cheese, brie is actually versatile and easy to find in most places.
Brie has a nutty, salty, and earthy flavor on the inside, while the rind has tastes of mushroom and umami. It’s rich, creamy, and buttery on the inside, and a little harder towards the rind. The texture will change when heated and become softer and somewhat runny.
Depending on the type of brie and how it’s prepared, you’ll find some alterations in the flavors and textures.
Types of Brie
Over the years, many types of brie have emerged. Let’s talk about some of the different types and see how they differ in tastes and textures.
Brie de Meaux
This is the most common type and what we often think of when we think of brie.
Brie de Meaux sometimes has a somewhat sweet taste to go along with a nutty, mushroom flavor. This cheese is creamy and decadent.
Brie de Melun
While not as popular as Brie de Meaux, this cheese is just as delicious.
Here the cheese is saltier than it is sweet with slightly sour and earthy tastes. In addition, it has a firmer texture and is less creamy.
The rind is much drier and has less flavor than a Brie de Meaux.
This type of brie is aged much longer than other kinds. Most brie are aged for 5-10 weeks. Brie Noir is aged around two years!
Due to this, the cheese has a much more intense flavor. It’s earthy, bitter, and somewhat acidic with notes of mushrooms and nuts.
The texture ends up being more crumbly than creamy.
Laura Chanel Creamy Brie
This is an American version of brie made with goat’s milk.
Laura Chanel Creamy Brie has a more mild flavor than some of the other types of brie. It’s a little grassy, nutty, and carries some notes of a tart lemon flavor.
It has more of a velvety texture than creamy and becomes oozy easily when heated.
This is another American version of brie. However, this type is made with a 50/50 blend of cow’s milk and goat’s milk.
Like the other American brie, this type is also somewhat milder than the French versions. However, there are more flavors in this type, it’s buttery, sweet, earthy, nutty, and slightly tangy with hints of mushroom.
Again, similar to Laura Chanel Creamy Brie, this type also has a less creamy texture and a more velvety one.
Depending on how you prepare and eat your brie the flavors and textures can change. Let’s look at some common ways to enjoy brie and see how they differ.
While baking brie is easy, it’s important to time it correctly.
A perfectly baked brie should be gooey and still have a little chew left in it. Baked brie is commonly eaten by spreading it on crackers so don’t want it completely melted. It should be able to hold its shape and not be runny.
While maybe an uncommon way to think about eating brie, grilling it can give the cheese another layer of flavor.
This is an especially good option if you have a more mild-tasting brie and would like a little more flavor. By cooking the brie over a flame, you can add a nice smoky flavor to it.
Like baked brie, it should be gooey in texture but not runny.
A classic way to eat cheese is to use it in a fondue. While brie might not be the most common cheese for the job, it tastes wonderful.
In the baked and grilled brie, we were aiming for a gooey texture. However, in a fondue, you want your brie to be melted and somewhat runny.
To add a bit of extra creaminess and more velvety texture to your fondue, melt it with some ricotta cheese.
Perhaps the most common and enjoyable way to eat brie is simply to set it out and let it be enjoyed.
When you’re serving brie alone, the best way to do that is at room temperature. While warmed brie is luxurious and decadent, it’s difficult to eat on its own.
Brie is a fairly soft cheese with a nutty, buttery, salty flavor. It’s often creamy or velvety in texture, although the rind tends to be much harder.
If you like an intensely flavored brie, try to find Brie Noir. Generally, it’s the sharpest and most pungent of the types of brie, although it is a little difficult to find. However, if you like a more mild-flavored brie, look to the American versions, particularly Laura Chanel Creamy Brie.