The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

2:41 PM

Food of the day: Cheese - Brie

Posted by Magic of Spice

This highly versatile cheese complements both its savory accompaniments as well as the sweet.

What a delight of sophistication for the palette (Tip: for easy serving suggestions, heat a knife under hot water then lightly brush with grape seed oil).

Brie is considered to be one of the most elegant and sophisticated of foods in Europe dating as far back as the middle ages. And is by far my personal favorite…

Here is some background for you to explore
It’s Production:

When left to mature, typically several months to a year, this cheese becomes stronger in flavor.

The darker and more crumbly this normally soft creamy cheese becomes the more intensely rich the flavor becomes( Brie Noir). Most American cultures prefer the cheese prior to this state. However it is common in France to be enjoyed by dipping into Café au lait as a light breakfast.

Vast Varieties:

There are many varieties of Brie. Herbed Brie, and Fruit filled Bries are among the most popular, as well as the very delightfulBaked Brie (Trader Joes has an excellent one).

Note: Camembert is a similar cheese, but usually on the milder side.

Purchasing Brie:

The white moldy exterior rind is edible and is usually eaten along with the softer interior.

When shopping note that the thinner the wheel the less ripened and milder of flavor.

Make sure that the exterior of your Brie is slightly firm to the touch, as this indicated that it has not over ripened.
Ripened Brie should be consumed within a few days especially if uncut. Brie generally continues to ripen when left whole.

Brie should be served a room temperature when uncooked.

Did you know…

That the True Brie cheese from France is unpasteurized and illegal to import to the US. If the Brie was aged to US standards it would be over ripened by the time it could then be imported.

It is the Raw Milk unpasteurized that creates the molding outer covering of the cheese, pasteurized versions having additives to create this occurrence.

The versions of Brie that we experience here in the US are typically of a milder flavor, with fruity gooey center.

A Simple dish:

Try slicingBrie allowing it to reach room temperature, and arranging on a serving dish (with or without greens). Slice chilled seedless grapes and peeled sliced blood oranges, along with candied walnuts, and chilled mint leaves thinly sliced. Place ingredients on top of the Brie slices.

As a light but flavorful dressing usealmond oil with desired amount of orange or lime juice (fresh).

Wine Pairing:

Brie is excellent served with its equally elegant wine counterpart Champagne.

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