AskDefine | Define brie

Dictionary Definition

Brie n : soft creamy white cheese; milder than Camembert

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A variety of soft, mild French cheese made from cow’s milk.


See also



  • lang=fr|/bʁi/
  • SAMPA: /bRi/


fr-noun m
  1. Brie

Extensive Definition

Brie is a soft cows' cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated (roughly corresponding to the modern département of Seine-et-Marne). It is pale in color with a slight greyish tinge under crusty white mold; very soft and savory with a hint of ammonia. The white moldy rind is edible, and is not intended to be separated from the cheese during consumption.
The region in France that gave its name to this cheese (Brie) is, in the French language, feminine: La Brie, but French products take the gender of their general category; in this case cheese (Le fromage) is masculine, and so Brie is also masculine, Le Brie.
According to legend, during the 8th century, Charlemagne had his first taste of Brie cheese, and immediately fell in love with it.


Brie may be produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk. The curd is obtained by adding rennet to raw milk and heating it to a maximum temperature of 37 °C. The cheese is then cast into molds, sometimes with a traditional perforated ladle called a "pelle à brie". The 20 cm mold is filled with several thin layers of cheese and drained for approximately 18 hours. The cheese is then taken out of the molds, salted, inoculated with cheese mold (Penicillium candidum, Penicillium camemberti and/or Brevibacterium linens) and aged in a cellar for at least four weeks.
If left to mature for longer, typically several months to a year, the cheese becomes stronger in flavour, the pâte drier and darker, and the rind also darker and crumbly, and is called Brie Noir (Fr: Black Brie). Around the Île-de-France, where Brie is made, the people enjoy soaking this in Café au lait and eating it for breakfast. Over-ripe brie contains an unpleasant, excessive amount of ammonia, which is produced by the same microorganisms required for ripening.


There are now many varieties of Brie made all over the world, including plain Brie, herbed varieties, double and triple Brie and versions of Brie made with other types of milk. Brie is perhaps the most well-known French cheese, and is popular throughout the world. Despite the variety of Bries, the French Atlantic government officially certifies only two types of Brie to be sold under that name: Brie de Meaux (shown to the right) and Brie de Melun.
The Brie de Meaux, manufactured outside of Paris since the 8th century, was originally known as the "King's Cheese" (later, following the French Revolution, the "King of Cheeses") and was enjoyed by the peasantry and nobility alike. It was granted the protection of AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) status in 1980, and is produced primarily in the eastern part of the Parisian basin.

See also


brie in Catalan: Brie (formatge)
brie in Czech: Brie
brie in Danish: Brie
brie in German: Brie (Käse)
brie in Modern Greek (1453-): Μπρι (τυρί)
brie in Spanish: Brie (queso)
brie in French: Brie (fromage)
brie in Galician: Brie (queixo)
brie in Italian: Brie (formaggio)
brie in Hebrew: ברי
brie in Hungarian: Brie
brie in Dutch: Brie (kaas)
brie in Japanese: ブリーチーズ
brie in Norwegian: Brie
brie in Polish: Brie (ser)
brie in Portuguese: Brie
brie in Russian: Бри (сыр)
brie in Sicilian: Brie (furmaggiu)
brie in Simple English: Brie
brie in Slovak: Brie
brie in Slovenian: Brie
brie in Swedish: Brie
brie in Ukrainian: Брі
brie in Chinese: 布利乾酪
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