That is, if you’ve never left the United States in search of the pillowy, dreamy bries of France. Authentic French brie is made with raw cow’s (unpasteurized!) milk and aged from anywhere from several weeks to over a year. Brie becomes funkier and denser in texture the longer it is left to mature. The older bries are known as Brie Noir or Black Brie, in reference to their darker coloring. The most popular and generally-known brie, however, is Brie de Meaux: a creamy, young brie from the town of Meaux, notably aged for around 5 weeks.
(Picture above of Brie Noir from wikipedia)
Brie de Meaux is incredibly well-loved and recognized for its buttery-soft texture and slightly sweet and mushroomy flavor - it was even awarded the title of “Le roi des fromage” or the “King of Cheese” by the emperor in the year 774.
But since this brie is only aged for several weeks, it’s not eligible for the US market. The FDA prevents any raw cheese aged for less than 60 days from entering the United States. This means that any brie that’s legally in the US is either aged for more than 60 days (which means a stronger, funkier flavor and denser texture) or made with pasteurized milk (some says this makes the brie lose its taste).
At Larder, we only carry one brie: Tremblaye Brie Fermier. The makers of Brie Fermier found a way to keep the age of the cheese under 60 days (allowing for the brie to keep its signature buttery quality and fresh mushroomy-ness) by thermalizing the milk. The process of thermalization is much gentler than pasteurization, because it heats the milk at a lower temperature. This allows for the milk to keep some of the microorganisms that give the resulting cheese its flavor and depth.
Tremblaye Brie Fermier is from Ferme de Jouvence in northern France and completely farmhouse-made- starting from milk from the farm’s herd of 150 cattle and aged in their artisanal cheese caves. The resulting cheese is earthy, mushroomy, and so pleasantly buttery. It has a thin, soft rind which gives way to a spreadable, creamy inside. If you’re looking for authentic French brie-- Brie Fermier is the closest thing to the real deal. Just look at the buttery slice! Come stop by the Larder to try some Brie Fermier yourself.