The king of cheeses
Known as the ‘king of cheeses and cheese of kings’ in France, Brie de Meaux was also popular with emperors. According to legend, it was the favourite cheese of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages, who was introduced to the cheese by the monks of Abbaye de Jouarre, who made it.
Protected by a PDO, the cheese must be made with raw milk in the Brie region (now mainly Seine-et-Marne and Île-de-France) 30 miles east of Paris. The coagulation temperature must not exceed 37°C and the curd is ladled into moulds by hand using a scoop-like tool called a pelle à Brie. This stops it from breaking up and helps retain moisture. The cheeses are salted after they drain and acidify in the moulds.
Eating Brie de Meaux PDO
For this year’s Boxing Day spread, serve the King of Brie’s atop a crunchy Peters Yard crispbread, with a few slivers of pickled red cabbage and a glass of fizz.
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