What Is Brie Cheese and Should You Really Be Eating the Rind?

When times get tough, try to remember to Brie. Take a breath too, but a big bite of Brie couldn’t hurt. It’s one of those little pleasures that can solve almost everything that’s going wrong, except for, y’know, all the systemic horrible stuff. Ugh, sorry for even going there. Now I need some Brie. But what is Brie cheese? How do you eat it and how do you serve it? And most importantly, can you eat the rind? For all you that are reading this, holding a big slice of Brie, rind included, thank you for your patience. We’re going to get some answers.

What is Brie cheese? 

Brie is a creamy, whitish cheese with a bloomy edible rind. It originates from the Brie region of northern France between the Seine and Marne valleys, which later came to be known as Seine-et-Marne. Traditionally, Brie is made from cow’s milk, but goat milk can be used as well. The Brie in the United States usually has a mild flavor, while French Brie can be pretty funky. That’s because a lot of Brie in France is made with raw milk. U.S. Brie is made from pasteurized milk. France, of course, exports stabilized and U.S. legal versions of their Brie, but it is made differently than the cheese sold in France. Pasteurized Brie has a longer shelf life, and takes on more earthy tones as it ages. Brie also gets mixed up a lot with its close cousin, Camembert. Both are soft, white cheeses sold in rounds, but Camembert is usually funkier, sold in smaller rounds, and has a lower butterfat percentage.

How do you eat Brie? 

Now that you know what Brie is, how do you eat it? Just stick that sucker in your mouth and chew. Actually, you may want to wait a little bit. Brie is great all on its own, but if you really want the flavors and aromas at their max, it’s best to let it rest at room temperature for about an hour. And when I say room temperature, I’m talking about a normal, comfortable, room. If you live in a 125 degree desert with no AC, your room is not room temperature, buddy. 

How do you serve Brie cheese? 

Okay, so you know how to eat Brie, but what if you want to force other people to eat Brie? How do you serve Brie cheese? Brie is a great addition to any cheese board. Just toss it on there with some nuts, dried fruit, and a crusty baguette. Since Brie usually comes in rounds, it’s customary to cut it in wedges, you know triangles, like little pizza slices. Also, Brie is great baked. You can bake it in a puff pastry or just drizzle some honey over it and enjoy some nice Brieness. 

Can you eat the rind on Brie? 

Yes, you can. Everyone who has been holding that slice of Brie while reading this, waiting for the rind answer, go ahead and take a big bite. Not only can you eat the rind, you should eat the rind. Technically, the rind is mold, usually Penicillium candidum, but it’s good mold! The rind protects the cheese on the inside and helps to give the cheese its flavor. You’re missing out on a big part of the flavor and textural experience if you do not eat the rind. Of course, you can cut the rind off and just eat the gooey cheese middle if you want. You can eat your food however you choose. But, just know that it will get back to me, and I’ll be very disappointed in you. But then if I get too sad, I can just eat some Brie, rind and all, and I’ll feel better.

best brie

Best Brie Cheese

Now that you know all about Brie cheese, find out what the best Brie is. We ate wedge after wedge to find the best ones for you.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *