Last Updated : Sep 28,2017
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The rich creamy, mushroomy flavour of Brie, a French cheese, differs across the world. Each palate responds differently to the pale cheese with an edible outer rind made by mould. Its complex flavour and dark rind make it a favourite, dessert cheese classic. Traditionally Brie is created when raw milk is curdled with the addition of rennet. The curds are then put into moulds and drained. The draining lasts for a day. After which the cheese is removed from the moulds, salted, and bacteria's then introduced. Finally, the cheese is aged for approximately one month before being consumed. If the same cheese is left to mature for a longer duration, the cheese becomes stronger in flavour and the rind darkens. This cheese is then called "Brie Noir". Brie can be manufactured plain or with herbs.
Brie cheese cubes
To cube Brie cheese, first ensure that it is at room temperature. If it has been refrigerated, then remove and peel off the rind using a knife. The rind is edible. Make vertical slits lengthwise and hold all the strips. Now make horizontal slits across the length keeping either a 1/2 to 1 inch distance.
Sliced brie cheese
Ensure that the Brie cheese block is at room temperature. If it has been refrigerated, then remove and peel off the rind using a knife. The rind is edible. Place the cheese on a chopping board, take a sharp knife and cut the cheese horizontally to get slices of desired thickness. If the slice is too big, you can cut it into half.
How to select
• The buttery creamy texture of Brie is best had at room temperature or warmed before eating. If you prefer not eating the rind, trim the refrigerated brie or scoop out the soft centre and discard the outer rind.
• Brie stops ageing once it is sliced. Thus, if you purchase under aged Brie slices, the flavour of the remaining Brie won't improve.
• Brie wheels will be 1 inch in thickness and will bulge slightly within the rind.
• Under ripe Brie will feel hard when gently pressed with your finger, while overripe Brie will feel soft and runny to the touch. The exterior should be firm, while the centre should be springy but not watery.
• Brie is available canned also. Always check the brand and packaging before purchasing.
• Pairings of wine and cheese can never really go wrong. Classic champagne on the other hand tastes delicious when paired with Brie.
• A crowd favourite across the world, Brie paired with any other cheese like Roquefort or even Emmenthal or Blue can create a particularly delicious fondue, where vegetables, meat or toasted bread cubes can be dipped into these cheeses slowly melting over an open flame.
• As fillings for puff pastry or as a baked cheesecake mixture which you can serve along with a fruit sauce, as a dip, marinade or topping on canapés and crackers, or even crumbled over a salad, the options are as vast as your culinary creativity allows it to be.
• Sandwiches, burgers, open toasts, pizzas and panini get a gourmet do-over with Brie.
• Brie works well as a savoury deep fried starter.
• As far as fruits are concerned the mellow flavour of Brie, compliments tart fruits like dried cherries, cranberries, apricots and raisins tremendously.
• Coupled with toasted nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews and you have a winning platter of healthy, colourful snacks on the go.
How to store
• Uncut, ripe Brie may be frozen up to 6 months.
• Overripe Brie will have a brownish, gummy rind and smell like ammonia.
• Whereas cut, ripe Brie should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days.
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