Brie de Meaux is a Brie cheese with a very pale yellow inside and a white velvet rind. It develops a nutty flavour as it ages.
It is made from raw cow’s milk (the milk has to be unpasteurized to meet its AOC specifications.)
Rennet is added, and the milk heated to 37 C (98.6 F.) The curd is then put into a mould by hand with a tool they call a Brie shovel (“pelle à Brie”), salted, and hand-shaped into wheels.
The cheese is aged at least 4 weeks. The rind is not washed, but the cheese is turned several times by hand.
A typical wheel of this cheese will be 36 cm wide x 2 1/2 cm tall (14 inches x 1 inch), and weigh around 2.8 kg (6 1/4 pounds.) It will have required 25 litres (6.6 US gallons) of milk to make that wheel.
Brie de Meaux is usually sold when young, about 1 week old, to an cheese ager (affineur.) This has been done since the 1800s, particularly to Parisian cheese agers.
Though first made in Meaux, since the 1850s its production area has followed cheese factories moving eastward. Now, Brie de Meaux is made all around Paris, in the département of Seine & Marne, and in parts of the départements of Aube, Haute-Marne, Marne, Meuse, and Yonne. More than 60% is the cheese is produced in Meuse.
As of 2003, eight factories and one farmer are making Brie de Meaux, being supplied with milk from 672 dairy farmers. The single farm still making it is Trente Arpents Farm at Favières in Seine & Marne. If this cheese is classed Brie de Meaux “Fermier” (“fermier” meaning “farm”), it has to be made on a farm with milk from that farm’s own cows. Thus, only Trente Arpents is still allowed to call it Brie de Meaux “Fermier.”
The cheese is made year round, but the ones made in the fall are considered by some to be the best.
Brie de Meaux contains 45% butterfat
Per 100 g (3 1/2 oz)
Calories 260 to 350
Protein 20 to 21 g
Calcium 150 to 575 mg
Brie de Meaux cheese received its French AOC on 18 August 1980. The conditions of the AOC were redefined on 31 December 1986.