I remember when Brie transformed in my mind from some smelly French cheese to the perfect crescent roll filler, salad topper, and sandwich add-on. My mom wanted me to make a cheese pastry (fancily said as Brie en croute) for her to take to a friend's house, and all it took was a wheel of Brie, marmalade, and Pillsbury dough. I put it in the oven, and a quick eight minutes later I had made this delicious, gooey appetizer that I was going to make countless more times.

I joined the Brie fandom, and now I'm here to recruit you. You might be wondering what is Brie and why is so addictive. Brie is a soft cow's-milk cheese that, when served, easily screams elegance and decadence.

History of "The Queen of Cheeses"

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Rebecca Li

Rumor has it that in the eighth century, French Emperor Charlemagne tasted Brie at a monastery in Reuil-en-Brie and instantly fell in love with it. And then as it goes, if the king loves it, the people love it, and Brie quickly became a fan favorite. Legitimate Brie must be made in the Seine-et-Marne area, but that didn't work for anyone else because the demand became too high, so many countries began commercially manufacturing their own "Brie". 

Brie is produced from the whole or semi-skimmed cow's milk. The milk is curdled, and then the cheese is cast into molds and kept for around 18 hours. Once formed, the cheese is salted and aged for a minimum of four weeks (because you can't rush perfection!).

Exploring the World of Brie

There are many ways to enjoy Brie – sweet, crunchy, or savory. With sweet, you can top the cheese with honey, dried fruit, or an assortment of jams/marmalades/preserves. With crunchy, spread the Brie over crackers or enjoy with nuts. And with savory, you can never go wrong with some bacon, prosciutto, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms. 

#SpoonTip: If you're looking for Brie recipes, take to the Internet to enhance your Brie experience.

The taste of Brie is perfectly complemented by fruit – (caramelized) apples, raspberries, cranberries, grapes, fig, etc. Or you can simply top it with herbs and throw it in the oven to unleash that gooey center, making it the perfect dip or spread. It goes fantastically on a cheese board with a side of wine. In sandwiches, try Nutella and Brie, or (my favorite) just plain oven gold turkey and Brie!

If you're still wondering, "To Brie or not to Brie," all I can say is go for it. Just have your camera ready to capture the cheese pull!