Brie de Meaux Cheese and Brie de Melun Cheese
Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun are produced in the northeastern part of France, close to the German border. They pair well with Sancerre, various fruit infused dessert wines from France or Germany and most full bodied Chardonnays. However, Brie as we call it - may date back to the 700 s. Brie may be the most easily recognizable and most popular french party cheese in the United States.
The rinds of the Brie cheese are bloom ripened rather than washed. They develop a powdery white finish on the mold of the exterior. The curds are infused with the penicillium mold strain and it transforms the milky curd to a soft full flavored cheese with the texture of butter and the flavor of of truffles. It is sold in gourmet groceries in small and large wheels or wedges.
Because much of the content is water content rather than pure butterfat - it may be a less fatty ( then cheddar or other full fat hard cheeses) alternative for those watching their fat intake.
French brie is much creamier that the varieties made in the US because the cows are grass fed. The cheese can be served at room temperature, unwrapped and placed on a serving platter an hour before guests arrive for the best consistency and presentation.