Brie is a soft cow's milk cheese from France. It is pale, straw yellow in color in its interior and its edible rind is covered in white, velvety mold that is meant to be eaten with the rest of the cheese. It has a rich, creamy, mild flavor.
Brie is one of the most famous cheeses in France, and it's been around a long time. It was loved by the emperor Charlemagne in 774 AD. The cheese is named after the French Province of Brie near Paris from which it originated.
Brie is made from whole or semi-skimmed milk. The cheese is aged about 4 weeks.
Most brie in Europe is made from unpasteurized milk, while Brie that is exported to US or Australia is made from pasteurized milk. This is due to laws that require cheese sold in some countries to be aged at least 60 days if made from unpasteurized milk. Pasteurization changes the flavor of the cheese and pasteurized milk Brie is milder and less flavorful.
The name Brie by itself is not protected by law, and so "Brie" cheeses are made all over the world. However, the names Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun are protected, and to be named as such they must be made in certain regions of France following certain procedures.
Where to buy
Brie, or its imitations, is a fairly common cheese, and can usually be found in many grocery stores and cheese shops throughout the world.