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Brie de Meaux PDO

Pronunciation: bree duh moh

Underneath its bloomy white rind, Brie de Meaux has an indulgently soft and smooth texture.  With its rich, buttery and nutty character, there is no surprise that it has remained a firm cheeseboard favorite for decades.

Flavor Profile

Key Flavors

Mushrooms
Butter
Almonds
Truffle

Structure

Character

Style:Soft, external mold ripened
Rind:White mold (edible)
Texture:Chalky when young; creamy and smooth when ripe
Color:Ivory
Intensity:Medium – Strong

Cheese Facts

Milk:Cow, unpasteurized
Origin:FRANCE. Île-de-France
Size:Weight: 2.5 – 3 kg
Diameter: 36-37 cm
Ripening Age:6-10 weeks
Handling:Soft cheese knife
Vegetarian:No
Protected Status:PDO (1980)
The cheese must be :
– produced within the designated geographical region around Seine-et-Marne
– made from raw cows’ milk using animal rennet
– cast into its mould manually using a pelle à brie (speciality ladle)

Serving Recommendations

How to cut Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meaux should be cut using a prolonged soft cheese knife.

Source: Harts of Stur

A wedge of brie should be sliced from rind to tip, creating long slim pieces.

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Photo credit: The Good Food Network

Brie de Meaux Drinks pairings

  • Burgundian-styled chardonnay
  • Pinot noir
  • Gamay
  • Champagne-styled sparkling wines
  • Spicy saison beer

Brie de Meaux Cheeseboard partners

  • Honey
  • Chutney
  • Walnuts

You also might like:

  • Delice de Bourgogne
  • Tunworth

Brie de Meaux FAQ

What is the difference between Brie and Brie de Meaux?
Brie de Meaux has a PDO protected method of production whereby an ordinary brie doesn’t need to adhere to any strict criteria.  There are many types of brie produced within the geographical region of the same name in north-east France including Brie de Melun PDO, Brie de Nangis and Brie Noir.

Where is Brie de Meaux produced?
Brie lies within the north-easterly region of Île-de-France, east of Paris, between the Seine and Marne valleys.

Can you eat the rind of Brie de Meaux?
Yes.  The white rind of Brie de Meaux is formed by the mould Penicillium camemberti that helps to break down the paste of the cheese as it matures.

How do you know when Brie de Meaux is ripe?
There are several indicators to tell whether a Brie de Meaux is ripe by touch, sight and smell.  The cheese should be soft to the touch evenly across its diameter and red or brown patches will start to develop across the bloomy white rind.  A cross-section should reveal a dual-textured paste as the mould helps to ripen the cheese from the rind inwards.  A strong smell of ammonia is a sign that the cheese has over-ripened but a light aroma on the rind is a good indicator of maturity.

There are some cultural differences regarding the optimal ripeness of Brie de Meaux.  The French favour some firmness at the center of the cheese, while other consumers will prefer for it to be gooey and smooth throughout.  A young cheese will have a sturdy, chalky texture that should soften over time.

What does Brie de Meaux taste like?
Brie de Meaux is an indulgently rich and buttery cheese with earthy flavours of mushrooms and truffles alongside nutty almond notes.

Is Brie de Meaux strong?
A ripe Brie de Meaux is a medium to strong cheese.  It has a complex, nutty and buttery flavour with a rich mouthfeel.

How is Brie de Meaux made?
Brie de Meaux is protected by a PDO (protected denominated origin) which stipulates that the cheese must be made from raw cows milk produced from within the Brie region of northeastern France.  Over 20 litres of milk is required to produce a single 2.6 kg wheel of cheese.  The coagulation temperature is limited to a maximum of 37 degrees C and curds must be hand-scooped into moulds using a traditional perfolated ladle called a pelle à Brie.  The cheeses are dry salted after they are left to drain and acidify in their moulds.

References

  • Masui, K. and Yamada, T. (1996). French Cheeses. London: Dorling Kindersley Press.