Said to be the ancestor of all Bries’, Brie de Melun is aged in a manner resulting in a more robust flavor than found in other Bries’. When young, wheels of Brie will be firm with a full mold coat. As the Brie ages it will soften until it becomes runny and only held together by its mixed flora rind.
The origin of Brie is Northern France where the cool winters and mild summers create fertile agricultural land that has been utilized for over a thousand years for dairy farming. Prized for its mushroom rind and smooth to runny paste Brie has been adored since the time of Charles The Great (April 748 – Jan 814) who loved the cheese so much he often had it delivered to his Castle in Aachen West Germany.
There are three traditional Bries’ from Northern France Region of Brie. These cheeses carry the name of their origin, Brie de Montereau, Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun.
Brie de Meaux
– 2.8 kg (6.2 lb) with a diameter of 36 to 37 cm
– Most famous of all Bries’ these large wheels of cheese are often sold in long slender wedges.
Brie de Montereau |Brie de Coulommiers
– 0.5 kg with a diameter of 18 cm
– Often referred to as Brie’s little brothers these cheeses are close to the size of a traditional Camembert.
Brie de Melun
– 1.8 kg with a diameter of 27 cm
– Where other Bries’are known for their white mold rinds Brie de Melun has more diverse surface flora. The diverse flora will give the cheese a slightly off white appearance and a strong flavor.
– A not so famous fourth Brie, Brie Noir is made by carefully aging Brie de Melun for up to two years before being consumed.