Fromage de Meaux - A Brie by any other name...
Fromage de Meaux A Brie by any other name...
- Producer - Rouzaire
- Origin - France
- Milk Type - Cow
Mention Paris and you probably immediately think of the Eiffel Tower, maybe the Moulin Rouge, a vibrant cityscape full of elegant women in haute couture. Yet a mere half an hour east of the city (or a good half day on a vintage bicycle), although still classified as metropolitan Paris, things take a distinct turn for the rural – think more berets than Balenciaga…
The small commune of Meaux is the spiritual home of white mould cheese and has fed Paris with the most delicious Brie cheese for centuries. In order to carry the AOC status and the words de Meaux, not only must the cheese be made and matured in the area, but the milk must be local too. A true locavore’s dream.
So what is the difference between Brie de Meaux and Fromage de Meaux? It comes down to pasteurisation, nothing more. Brie’s AOC (quality) status specifies that it must be made from raw milk, which makes export to many markets very tricky. To get around this Robert Rouzaire developed this delicious version using pasteurised milk, but of course it cannot carry the name Brie…
The inviting exterior of this Brie-style cheese is soft and white when young, but with additional ageing will become crusty and mottled with brown spots. The flavour is lightly earthy, with mushroomy, grassy notes that intensify with time. On the inside it is rich and creamy with an ivory colour contrasting beautifully with the rind. Leave out of the fridge for several hours to allow its generous paste to ooze.
FACT OF THE DAY
The word Brie itself is not protected so to this day we still see producers around the world appropriating the name for cheeses that bear very little resemblance to classic Brie de Meaux. We hear that even the Chinese produce a “Brie” these days, although don’t expect to be ordering it through Cheese Therapy any time soon…
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- Sam Penny