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Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cheese: Brie

Paris: paradise for Brie cheese.  Brie gets its name from the region of Brie, which is situated just east of Paris.  The different types of Brie get their name from their origins of production, such as the cities of Meaux or Melun; however, it is also produced in Germany, England, Canada, and the United States.

Brie can be made from both pasteurized and unpasteurized cows’ milk.  It is a soft rind cheese, covered by a fine, eatable mold and characteristically is mild, aromatic, and lightly acidic. Both the brie de Meaux and the brie de Melun carry the  l'appellation d'origine contrôlé (AOC) label which means the brie must be made within those territorial limits to carry the name.

Brie has unclear origins; however, was considered a favorite by Charlemagne, nobles, and royalty. It was so popular within dignified circles that in 1815, the Congress of Vienna officially recognized brie as the roi de fromages or king of cheeses.  The brie de Meaux was ordained Prince des fromages et premier des desserts (prince of cheeses and the first of desserts).  Popular among all social classes, it was said that, “Brie, liked by the rich and the poor; preached the equality that we never imagined possible” (1793).

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