The Brie de Meaux, manufactured outside of Paris since the 8th century, was originally known as the "King's Cheese" (later, following the French Revolution, the "King of Cheeses") and was enjoyed by the peasantry and nobility alike. It was granted the protection of AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) status in 1980, and is produced primarily in the western part of the Paris basin.
Brie may be produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk. The curd is obtained by adding rennet to raw milk and heating it to a maximum temperature of 37°C. The cheese is then cast into molds, sometimes with a traditional perforated ladle called a "pelle à brie". The 20 cm mold is filled with several thin layers of cheese and drained for approximately 18 hours. The cheese is then taken out of the molds, salted, innoculated with cheese mold (generally Penicillium candidum) and aged in a cellar for at least four weeks.
|Pasteurized||Yes in United States (by law), no in most of Europe|
|Fat content||45-50% (25% out of solid and water content)|
|Dimensions||Circular discs about 1 inch high and about 15 inches in diameter (typically)|
|Aging time||At least 4 weeks|