Posted in The Grocery Shop-a-holic, The Joy of Snacks

Brie: The King of Cheeses

Cheese.

Because the Philippines isn’t exactly dairy country like, say, Switzerland or even Japan (They make fabulous cheeses in Hokkaido, by the way.), most people look at it as something that comes in a rectangular blue box in the dairy section of their neighborhood supermarket, a gooey yellowish-orange concoction with pimentos in a jar. It is, to most people, something you stick or spread between two slices of bread for a sandwich, grate over spaghetti, or use to top a burger. That’s how most people in these parts look at cheese.

Then, they run into something like the Jindi Triple Cream Brie I bought at the Wine Depot last month.

Once they’ve sampled something like that, it changes the way they look at and feel about cheese forever.

Brie is a very soft cows’ milk cheese originally made in the French province of the same name. It is, like the Camembert, a wheel-shaped cheese characterized by an edible white mold and a soft, almost runny center. It was the favorite cheese of the Impressionist Master Pierre-Auguste Renoir who declared the Brie made just on the outskirts of Paris – the fabled Brie de Meaux – the veritable “King of Cheeses”.

You can’t blame Renoir for being moved to such praise as the cheese is truly delicious with a creamy, slightly nutty, highly savory flavor.

True French Brie, usually the mass produced ones, can be found in many supermarkets and is quite reasonably priced – which is why I wonder why many Filipinos haven’t gone and actually tried the stuff! Now, you can go ahead and call me a culinary heretic or Philistine, but the best Brie I have had so far happens to be Australian rather than French. This is the Triple Cream Brie from Jindi, an award-winning dairy farm that also produces top-quality Camembert and an amazingly fruity Morbier.

This particular Brie has a very rich flavor with a slightly garlicky tinge to the undertone. The aroma is also delicious with just the faintest hint of ammonia. While it is firm to the bite, it melts almost instantly in your mouth; it has an almost satiny texture in its molten state. While I seriously enjoy popping chunks of this into my mouth for a quick – yet elegant – snack, this also tastes gorgeous on hot toast, spread on sliced apples, or – most decadently – put atop slices of grilled beef tenderloin to make the most sophisticated cheese-steak sandwich ever. πŸ˜‰

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Author:

Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended earlier this year. These days, she works for a corporate governance advocacy in Makati. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel.

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