Brie de Meaux is a soft raw cow’s milk cheese with a bloomy rind made in the town of Meaux in France. It is an AOC product (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) which means that it must come from that region and from that terroir to earn the right to put AOC on the label.
All Brie cheese is not made equal. Brie de Meaux is an artisan cheese made from raw unpasteurised cow’s milk and is innoculated with Penicillium Candidum molds. Buy it in a cheese shop where they age it so that you acquire it at its ripest. When you buy Brie de Meaux for example it is a designated AOC cheese but when you buy cheese in a supermarket that is just labelled ‘Brie’ it is probably mass-produced.
Brie can be made anywhere but Brie de Meaux has to be made in Meaux. It is a fermented product and matures over a six-week period that gives rise to a light powdery rind that you can eat.
Would you believe that Meaux is only 40km – about an hour by car – from Paris!
David Liebovitz who writes about food in France has visited Meaux and he wrote an excellent article about the making of Brie de Meaux – you’ll find it on his blog here.
Photograph copyright foodpixies.com