Imagine a situation where someone has kept an entire cheeseboard in front of you. Everyone is asking you to try some fine brie, and all you wonder is, ‘What does brie taste like?’. Hold that thought because, in this article, I will give you a detailed guide on what brie tastes like! This will get you prepared for your next cheese party.
The flavor of brie cheese can be defined as nutty and fruity. It also has hints of an earthy and buttery flavor, quite often compared to the flavor of mushrooms. There are different varieties of brie cheese, all having a slight variation in flavor. However, the overall taste remains the same, which is as described above.
For those of us who are not used to eating specialty cheeses, it can get intimidating to try something new. This specialty cheese is liked by many in its native country France and even outside. However, as cheese can sometimes be an acquired taste, a lot of people prefer sticking to basic types, like cheddar cheese.
But, due to the ever-growing love for cheese that many have, brie is becoming popular amongst home cooks and in restaurants. So, whether you want to try brie from a cheese board or at a restaurant, it is always ideal to be familiar with its flavor.
In this article, I have covered all information about brie cheese’s flavor. Moreover, there is also some more information that you’ll find about the same. So, without further ado, let us discover brie!
What Is Brie?
Now that cheese has become so popular everywhere, there are such wide varieties to choose from. Moreover, cheese has become an internationally loved ingredient because it adds flavor to everything!
Brie cheese is still considered to be one of the most exquisite varieties of cheese, one of the reasons being it comes from France. So, before talking about the flavor of brie, let me tell you a little bit about the cheese itself.
Firstly, brie is a style of cheese, and the name in itself is not protected. However, there are some regional bries that have a protected name. Brie comes from France, particularly from a region called Seine-et-Marne. However, this place was originally known by the name ‘Brie,’ which is how this cheese got its name.
Brie is a soft cheese that is usually made from cow’s milk. This cheese is pale in color and has a white moldy rind. The rind is considered to be a delicacy and is eaten by many. Brie is most often sold whole, in rounds.
The cheese is ripened and aged, which intensifies the flavor. The production of brie is done with whole or semi-skimmed cow’s milk. For the production of brie, the curd is obtained by adding rennet, an enzyme, to the milk and then warming it.
Furthermore, the cheese is then taken out into molds and is then drained for a sufficient amount of time. Once the cheese is drained, it is taken out of the mold, salted, a culture is added, and then it is aged in a controlled environment for at least four to five weeks.
Quite often, brie is aged for a longer time, which gives it a sharper flavor and a more crumbly rind. Outside of France, there are varieties of brie that are also made with other types of milk.
However, as it actually originated in France, the French government officially certifies only two types of brie to be the real deal. These two types are Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun. The main difference between these two is based on how long they are aged.
What Does Brie Taste Like?
All of us have tried different types of cheeses in our life, whether they are soft, hard, processed or in any other form. However, the flavor of brie is quite different from many other types that you may have tried.
The way a particular cheese is made, the ingredients that it is made with, and also how long it is aged make a great deal of difference to the flavor. So, let us explore what flavors you should expect out of Brie cheese.
The characteristic flavor that you would expect out of brie is nutty, earthy, and fruity. The flavor is quite mild when the cheese is younger. However, as it matures, the flavor gets sharper, and the texture gets more crumbly. Younger brie has a buttery flavor to it, which also gives hints of flavors like a mushroom.
With brie, there are two layers when it comes to the flavor. The first layer, which is the top layer, has a sharper taste. As you bite into a piece of brie cheese, the center is moist and has a milder and more buttery flavor.
This flavor gets intense as you eat around the rind. Out of the two types of brie certified by the French government, Brie de Melun has a stronger flavor and aroma as compared to Brie de Meaux, all because of how long they are aged.
Brie often has a pungent smell of ammonia to it, which is one of the reasons why some people avoid eating it. The smell does get sharper, depending on how long the cheese has been aged.
Younger brie, due to its milder taste, is often paired with various sides like bread, crackers, and even fruits and cheese. This is because the flavors complement each other really well.
What Does Brie Taste Similar To?
Trying new flavors that we are not familiar with can always be tricky business. There is always that little chance that you may not like it. So, what is a way to simplify this problem? For me, it has always been to compare the taste of one ingredient to another.
This genuinely helps figure out the flavor of a particular food. So, to make it easy, let me tell you what brie tastes similar to so that it gets easier for you to establish its flavor.
Brie, being a type of French cheese, has a flavor very similar to another type of French cheese. This cheese is Camembert, of course. Both being types of soft cheese, their flavors are overall quite similar.
However, there still are some minute differences between the two. The flavor of brie is like a milder and more buttery version of Camembert, to make the closest comparison.
Does Brie Taste Like Fish?
I have heard of many instances where people compare the flavor of various types of cheese with the flavor of fish. Technically this should not happen, considering the entire characteristics of the two are quite different.
However, people have complained about their brie cheese having a very off smell, which is almost fishy. So, is brie actually supposed to taste like fish? Let us find out.
To give an extremely definite answer, brie does not taste like fish. Neither is brie supposed to taste like fish. The reason brie is sometimes said to have a fishy aroma, if not flavor, is because over develops an unpleasant ammonia stench, which is also fishy.
Once opened, brie can last in the refrigerator for upto two weeks. During this period, the cheese releases its natural smell, which has nowhere to escape in a refrigerator. This makes the stench stronger and makes it seem fishy. So, if your brie does taste fishy, there are high chances of it being over-ripe.
Is Brie An Acquired Taste?
A lot of varieties of cheese have a very strong flavor and aroma. So, people who are not used to it or have not grown up eating these cheeses may find it difficult to eat them in the first go.
However, as I mentioned earlier, brie actually has a mild and buttery taste. So, why if the flavor is mild, why is it so difficult to like it the first time? Let me give you some reasons for this.
Brie cheese is actually an acquired taste, despite the mild flavor of young brie cheese. There are two reasons why you may not like the flavor of brie in the first go. One reason is that brie cheese has a strong smell of ammonia, which you can sometimes find lingering in its flavor too.
The other reason is the rind of the brie. The rind has a very sharp flavor as compared to the center. If you eat the center as it is, you may enjoy the flavor. However, eating brie with the rind is an acquired taste.
Is Brie A Sweet Cheese?
I don’t think many of us may have tried sweet-tasting cheese. Although when we talk about a sweet flavor, it generally only refers to a mild amount of sweetness with savory foods.
There are some types of cheese that do have an underlying flavor that is slightly sweet. With brie, it is usually salted quite well, so some may wonder if you get a sweet flavor out of it.
Brie does have a slightly sweet undertone flavor to it. This flavor is extremely mild and not very prominent. The undertone sweetness of brie comes out better, depending on what it is served with. When served with certain sweet fruits, the sweet flavor of brie gets more prominent.
Does Brie Cheese Taste Bitter?
Bitter flavors are not preferred by most of us. They don’t really taste pleasant, and for that, we all want to stay away from bitter food. So, is Brie even a little bitter? The simple answer is no.
Brie cheese does not have a bitter taste. The taste is mild, creamy, and buttery with a fruity and earthy flavor. However, the rind does have a slight bitterness to it. If not stored properly, the rind can taste really bitter.
Why Does Brie Taste Like Ammonia?
Certain times, brie cheese has a very strong smell and flavor of ammonia. The release of ammonia from brie is, in fact, quite natural. Cheeses that have a rind around them have an external mold introduced to them during the production process.
This mold, in turn, releases ammonia. Although brie, when stored properly, should not really taste like ammonia. However, there are some reasons why the flavor and smell of ammonia can sometimes be very pungent.
Brie, if left out for a really long time, can have a strong smell and flavor of ammonia. Usually, the brie that we buy from supermarkets is very tightly packed. This does not leave enough room for the ammonia that is produced by the mold to escape.
This, in turn, keeps gathering around the brie and gives it a strong flavor and scent of ammonia. This is the reason that quite often, brie ends up tasting like ammonia.
Is Brie Supposed To Taste Moldy?
The rind of brie cheese is made by a mold that is introduced into it during the production process. This gives it the outer skin that brie has, along with the sharp flavor. So, does the addition of mold into brie account for an overall moldy flavor in the cheese?
The inside of brie is not supposed to taste moldy but should taste mild, fruity, earthy and buttery. The rind does have a sharp flavor which is moldy and has a smell and flavor of ammonia. So, not all the cheese, but some part of it does have a moldy flavor.
What Does Baked Brie Taste Like?
Baking or heating cheese does make it much better, for sure! This rule does not really apply to all types of cheese. However, there are many types that do get the best effect out of baking.
As brie is a soft cheese, not everyone is sure whether you can bake it. To answer that, yes, brie can be baked and served alongside various sides. But, does baking affect the flavor of brie?
Baked brie tastes like a gooey version of brie cheese. Although brie is already a soft variety of cheese, baking it gives it another dimension, making the center even more buttery to the taste.
But, while baking brie, it is very important to bake it just for the right amount of time. Overbaking brie, especially if you have not cut the rind, will make it really hard and almost unappetizing.
What Does Goat Brie Taste Like?
Outside of France, brie is made with various types of milk. Goat’s milk is a popular way of making brie cheese. This does bring some minute changes to the texture and flavor of brie, as compared to brie made with cow’s milk. Although the differences are not very noticeable, there are some that are worth pointing out.
Goat brie looks very similar to brie, that is made with cow’s milk. It has a white ring around it with a creamy texture in the center. The difference in texture between the two is that goat brie is gooier as compared to regular brie made with cow’s milk. With the flavor, goat brie is slightly more tangy and earthy as compared to regular brie.
Does Brie Taste Like Mozzarella?
The texture of brie and mozzarella cheese is poles apart. Mozzarella cheese is stringy, whereas brie is more creamy and has a soft texture. When it comes to their flavors, both brie and mozzarella are mild-tasting cheeses. But, the similarities in their flavors end there.
Brie has a more earthy and fruity flavor along with a sweet and salty aftertaste. Mozzarella, on the other hand, is really mild. In fact, with mozzarella, you barely even get the flavor of salt! So, it can be said that brie and mozzarella do not taste the same.
Does Brie Taste Like Camembert?
As I had mentioned earlier, the closest cheese one can compare the flavor of brie with is Camembert. These two types of cheese have a similar soft texture and a mild flavor. However, although there are a lot of similarities between the two, there are some minor differences when it comes to their flavors.
Both brie and Camembert have been described to have an earthy flavor. Both types of cheese have a sweet undertone flavor, mixed with a fruity and nutty taste. They have a flavor that is quite similar to the flavor of mushrooms.
The one little minor difference is that brie is milder with a creamier and more buttery taste. Camembert, on the other hand, comparatively has a deeper flavor which is more intense as compared to the flavor of brie. Other than this, the two types of cheeses do taste very similar.
Does Brie Taste Like Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is also a type of cheese with a soft texture. The texture is quite similar to that of brie, and cream cheese is mostly added to various recipes to give them depth along with a cheesy flavor.
However, when we compare these two types of cheese, even though they have a similar flavor, there is one very distinct difference in their production- the aging process. So, how does the maturation process end making their tastes differ?
Cream cheese has a very mellow flavor. This flavor is, in fact, even milder than the flavor of brie. Brie cheese has a distinctly earthy and nutty flavor, similar to mushrooms. This flavor comes into place due to the aging process.
Cream cheese does not really carry these flavors, as it is not aged. So, it can be said that even the youngest of brie does have a mild flavor, but it is not really like the flavor of cream cheese.
What Does Bad Brie Taste Like?
Brie cheese is a variety of soft cheese, so it has a shorter shelf life compared to various other types of cheese. There are some ways to tell that brie has gone bad, such as it will turn moldy and start getting flaky.
Moreover, it may also start to have moldy patches all over the rind. But, in case you miss any of these signs and still end up tasting the brie, there are some ways to tell that it has gone bad.
Brie cheese that has gone bad will have an extremely pungent smell of ammonia. Moreover, even if you taste the brie from the center, you will get a very moldy and sharp taste.
This can also happen if the cheese is overripe. But, if the brie has actually gone bad, the flavor will almost be putrid. If you do feel like your brie cheese tastes sharp, ammonia-like, and moldy, it is best to throw it away and not consume it.
Different Types Of Brie And Their Taste
Brie is originally classified only into two categories by the French government. But now, with the rise in popularity of this particular cheese, there are a lot of varieties available of the same. A lot of counties have started making their own versions of brie, with their own distinct flavors.
Not all are very popular, but some flavors have stood out over others. In the table given below, I have mentioned some of the most popular varieties of brie cheese, along with their respective flavors.
|Type Of Brie||Flavor|
|Brie de Meaux||Younger, mild flavor|
|Brie de Melun||Stronger, sharper flavor|
|Brie Noir||Aged for a longer time, much stronger flavor|
|Double and Triple Creme Brie||More buttery and smoother flavor|
|Herbed Brie||Basic mild flavor of brie is accompanied by the flavor of added herbs.|
Brie V/S Camembert
Brie and camembert cheese are very often confused with each other. This is quite natural since they do look very similar and have a similar flavor too. So, it can get a little confusing when you do want to buy one of these cheeses.
So, I do believe I should tell you about the differences between these two types of cheeses. Knowing the differences will clear a whole lot of confusion for many. Below, I have based the differences between the two on four parameters. Let us have a look at these differences.
Brie and Camembert are both varieties of French cheese. Although, they do come from two different regions in France. Brie comes from a place formerly known as Brie, which is also where its name comes from. Camembert is mostly made in Normandy in France.
Although both these types of cheese are made with cow’s milk, one does have a higher fat content than the other. Brie often has cream added to it, which gives it a smoother and more buttery texture than Camembert.
Traditionally, brie is made in a much larger mold as compared to Camembert. A wheel of Brie is usually 9-17 inches in diameter. On the other hand, Camembert is tiny, measuring only about 5 inches in diameter.
Both brie and Camembert are said to have a very similar flavor. Although the flavors are similar, brie has a much milder flavor and is more buttery. Camembert is sharper and has an intense earthy flavor and aroma.
Parts Of Brie That You Can Eat
Brie, whether sold as a whole wheel or in pieces, does have two distinct parts to it. These parts of brie are the inside white part and the rind. Many people do think that the rind is not edible because it is a moldy part.
However, both the rind and the white part in the center are edible. Let me tell you a little bit about the differences between the two parts.
1. White Center
The white center of the brie is what is loved by most people. It has that classic buttery and mild flavor that brie is known for. The center white part has the standard flavors that brie is associated with, like earthy, fruity, and nutty.
Although, these flavors come out extremely mild in the center. Moreover, once melted, the center becomes slightly gooey and has a creamy flavor. This can be paired with various sides of your choice.
The rind is the outer layer present in the brie. This rind gets sharper and thicker as the cheese matures. Even in the youngest of brie, the rind has a much sharper flavor and crumbly texture as compared to the center.
As the cheese matures, the flavor of the rind can get a flavor of ammonia, depending on how it has been stored. Although the flavor is more pungent than the center, the best way to eat the rind is to eat it with the center. This balances out the flavors and gives a better mouthfeel.
How To Select The Best Brie?
Let’s face it, none of us want to buy bad or expired products! We go grocery shopping with the goal of buying the best product out there. We would especially never want to buy cheese that has gone bad.
Imagine how stinky that would be! So, if you are planning to buy brie for the first time in your life, there are some important things that you need to keep in mind. Let me tell you about some ways through which you can select the best brie.
How To Buy The Best Brie:
- Smell the brie. It should not have an off aroma to it.
- The brie should not smell like ammonia and should have a sweet odor.
- Press the brie to check its texture. The exterior should be firm, and the center should spring back.
- Do not buy the brie if the center seems watery as it might be overripe.
- Do not buy rounds of brie that are thicker than 1 inch. Usually, thicker rounds indicate that the brie might be overripe.
- The rind should not be brown or bulging.
How To Preserve Brie For Best Taste?
Brie, being a type of soft cheese, does have a shorter shelf life than various other types of hard cheeses. So, it is important to store it in a way that it stays fresh for a longer time.
Moreover, if not stored properly, brie can go bad much quicker than its expected shelf life. Below, I have shared some tips on how you can store brie in the correct way to make sure it stays fresh and tastes the best.
How To Store Brie:
- Remove the original wrapper that the brie came in.
- Use parchment paper or wax paper that is three times the size of the cheese and wrap it lightly around the brie.
- Seal the wrapping with taking if it seems a little loose.
- Make sure you do not wrap it too tightly as that will not allow the cheese to breathe and will give a strong ammonia stench.
- Alternatively, you can also place it in an airtight container in case you want to preserve the flavor of the cheese.
- Try keeping the wrapped brie in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, as the temperature is optimal.
How To Tell If Brie Has Gone Bad?
Brie cheese ages all the time. So, even after you buy it, the cheese will continue aging. The aging process gives it a very overpowering smell and taste. This does make it difficult to figure out whether the cheese is still okay to eat. However, there are certain ways to tell apart the aging of brie from its spoilage.
How To Look For Signs Of Spoilage:
- Check the rind of the brie, it should be white and powdery in appearance.
- If the rind is gray in color and has a powdery texture, chances are that it has gone bad.
- Likewise, if you see pink spots on your brie, it is starting to rot.
- If the cheese has an extremely strong smell of ammonia and overall is off, it has started to go bad.
- In case you see any of these signs, you should not consume the cheese as it will lead to stomach issues.
What Tastes Best With Brie?
Brie cheese usually pairs well with a lot of things, all because of its mild yet versatile flavor. Although brie can be baked, it is quite often served on cheese boards as that is said to be the best way to eat a soft cheese. Let me give you some ideas on how you can pair your brie cheese with different ingredients to get a wonderful flavor of the same.
- Fruits: Brie tastes really good with fruits like apples, pears, peaches, and grapes. The sweet flavor complements the mild flavor and soft texture of brie.
- Nuts: The flavor of brie pairs well with certain unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
- Bread: Brie can be served alongside some toasted or plain bread and even crackers. Serve it with some garlic butter for added flavor.
- Cold Cuts: Brie can be served along with cold cuts of choice. Salami and prosciutto will work especially well.
- Wine: Brie can be served with acidic, dry wines to get the best flavor. Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are great choices for the same.
The Best Way To Serve Brie
Most people buy whole wheels of brie, especially to curate cheese boards. It can be confusing as to how exactly brie must be served. The best way to serve brie is no doubt on a cheese board. But are you supposed to just serve the entire wheel? Here, I have shared some tips on how you can serve brie on a cheese board.
- Prior to eating brie, make sure you take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.
- This will bring its temperature down to room temperature, which will give the best flavor.
- Next, cut one or two wedges out of the brie.
- This will give your guests a better idea of the size of the portion of each wedge.
- Do not cut too many slices, as that will dry the cheese out.
- Serve the entire wheel, along with the cut wedges, on a cheeseboard.
- Along with the brie, you can serve some of the best pairings that have been mentioned above. Enjoy!
Health Benefits Of Brie
Brie is a type of cheese with high-fat content, as is the case with many types of cheeses. So, a lot of people avoid indulging in it just because they think that it might be too unhealthy. Brie is high in fat content, that is for sure.
However, surprisingly, there are quite a lot of health benefits that come out of eating brie! I have shared some of the health benefits of eating brie, this will help you decide whether you would want to indulge in the cheese or not.
1. Healthy For The Heart
A lot of research has been carried out, which shows that full-fat dairy products, like brie, can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, there have also been claims that there is further research required on the same topic.
2. Improves Bone Health
Dairy products, like brie, are a rich source of calcium and protein. Both these nutrients are integral when it comes to overall bone health. Calcium in brie helps steady the growth of bones and can also prevent osteoporosis.
3. Boosts Immunity
Brie contains a good amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with immune system growth and function. It is also important for cell growth and energy production.
4. Helps With Weight Management
Brie does have a high amount of fat to it, but it also contains a lot of protein. Brie contains a type of protein called casein. This protein dissolves slowly in the body and helps you feel full for a longer period of time. If eaten in moderation, you can expect the same result out of brie.
5. Boosts Energy
Most of the energy that we need is obtained from Vitamin B12. Dairy products like brie are a good source of the same and can help with boosting your energy. Moreover, vitamin B12 has also been linked to reducing signs of depression.
Nutritional Contents Of Brie
Most of the calories in brie come from fat and protein. Along with protein, brie cheese is also a great source of a lot of vital nutrients. So, in case you are avoiding brie, worrying about the calorie content, you should take a look at the nutritional values of this cheese. This will better help you to decide if you want it to be a part of your diet or not.
|Nutrient||Amount (Serving Size 1 oz or 28 grams)|
|Total Fat||9 grams|
|Saturated Fat||4 grams|
|Sodium||5 % of DV|
|Vitamin A||6 % of DV|
|Vitamin B12||20 % of DV|
|Riboflavin||11% of DV|
|Calcium||10% of DV|
( Note- Here, DV denotes Daily Value. The percentage denotes the amount a nutrient can be a part of your daily recommended intake)
Brie is a variety of soft, white cheese originally from France. This cheese has a nutty and fruity flavor, with hints of earthiness and a buttery texture. Brie is often served whole on cheese boards, paired with various other cheeses and complementing flavors.
Brie can also be baked to get a better dimension of flavors. Brie has to be stored properly as it has a shorter shelf life than hard cheeses. Brie has a high amount of fat but is also a great source of protein and other nutrients. It can be a healthy addition to your diet if eaten moderately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is brie?
Brie is a soft white cheese of French origin.
What does brie taste like?
Brie has a nutty and buttery flavor, often tasting similar to mushrooms.
Which cheese tastes closest to the flavor of brie?
Camembert cheese has the closest flavor and texture like that of brie cheese.
Can brie be stored at room temperature?
Brie cheese, being a soft cheese, goes bad really quickly. So, it is ideal to store it in the refrigerator.
Why does brie have a strong smell?
As brie ages, it releases ammonia. If the cheese is not given enough room to release the smell, it can have a very strong scent which is undesirable.
Does brie pair well with wine?
Yes, brie pairs well with acidic, dry wines like Sauvignon Blanc.
Is brie healthy?
Although it does contain a high amount of fat, brie also has a lot of other vital nutrients, making it good for health.
Can brie help with weight loss?
Brie can help with weight management if eaten in moderation.
Is brie cheese made with goat or cow milk?
Authentic brie cheese is made with cow’s milk. However, there are also versions of the cheese which are made with goat’s milk.
Can you eat the rind of brie?
Yes, the rind of brie cheese is edible.
Should the rind be removed before baking brie?
No, the rind should not be removed as it will help the brie hold its shape.