August 27, 2008

La Fête du Fromage - Brie de Melun

Brie de Melun is not your average Brie.

It achieved AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) status in 1980 along with Brie de Meaux and is produced in the same area as Brie de Meaux, about 50 kilometers outside of Paris in the Île-de-France region, but that is where the similarities end.

Brie de Meaux is soft, Brie de Melun is robust.
Brie de Meaux is refined, Brie de Melun is lusty.
Brie de Meaux is perfumed, Brie de Melun is heady.
If Brie de Meaux were Jackie O, then Brie de Melun would be Marilyn Monroe.

The difference in flavor has to do with the method of production. Whereas Brie de Meaux's production uses rennet to achieve coagulation in a mere 30 minutes, Brie de Melun relies on lactic fermentation, which takes at least 18 hours.
Seven to ten weeks of affinage* produce a dense, pale yellow colored interior and a bloomy, white rind that is brushed with reddish-brown streaks. The flavors are fruity, salty, slightly sour and rustic. I also tasted hints of mushroom and hazelnuts.

Brie de Melun is strong and absolutely fantastic!

Serve with red wine such as Sancerre, Bourgogne or Gaillac.

* the process of maturing and ripening cheese Pin It
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