Nowadays, the difference between a Brie and a Camembert is more diffi cult to define and therefore to explain. Traditionally or historically, Bries were in the form of round wheels weighing 1 kg to 3 kg, while Camemberts wheels were smaller, usually around 250 g. In the Bries family, however, there is a traditional intermediate format cheese, Coulommiers, sometimes also called “ petit brie de Coulommiers ” which weighs around 500 g.
If this difference in format to distinguish at a glance Brie from Camembert is still valid today in Europe, it is much less useful in Canada or elsewhere in North America in general. . In fact, we find Bries and Camemberts in almost all formats, except for the large 3 kg format which seems most often reserved for Bries. So what to choose? By virtue of what clues? And what criteria?
The format has a notable influence on the taste. Indeed, for the same production, whether of the Brie type or of the Camembert type, a large-sized cheese will have a slightly sweeter taste than that of the same small-sized cheese.
Here’s why: in cheeses like Brie and Camembert, the rind is an important part of ripening, that stage of ripening during which flavors and textures develop. However, the small formats have more rind (the surface of the rind in relation to the volume of the cheese is greater). The taste of a small-format cheese will therefore tend to be a little more marked. This is all the more true in the case of traditionally made cheeses such as Bries and Camemberts Madame Cl ment, Le P’tit Connataire or Petit Champlain. A traditional manufacturing produces products which have more relief, more character, and which evolve very noticeably over time:
from the first weeks, the dough has a delicately friable heart which, as it becomes more refined, becomes supple and melting in its entirety; the flavors become more elaborate and above all intensify. The rind also evolves, becomes more typical, and can take on a more colorful and less smooth appearance.
The Bries and Camemberts labels contain informative information, including the fat content (indicated by MG), and sometimes other words, such as Double Cr me or Triple Cream. There are generally three levels of fat on the market, if we exclude the light versions: 26% for the regular, 30% for the double created me and 33% for the triple cream.
The cream that these cheeses contain rounds off the taste and texture and the higher the fat content, the more the cheese will be, of course, melting. You will find these tasty characteristics in the Le Trappeur range, which only offers double or triple creams.
Did you know?
There are three appellations of origin or AOC which sign Bries and Camemberts to indicate the origin of these cheeses now produced all over the world. The AOC Camembert de Normandie made from raw milk is ladle-molded. It is the Camembert in its power and its amplitude. It is not obvious to find them everywhere in Canada.
The AOC Brie de Meaux, produced in the Paris region on a delimited terroir around the city of Meaux (north-east of Paris), refers to large bries (approx. 3 kg), A soft yellow paste full of small fermentation openings in a rich white rind. The taste is full, generous, rather round.
Finally, the AOC Brie de Melun (appellation area located around Melun in the south-east of Paris) comes in the form of smaller wheels (1 kg) with a more tormented rind and colorful, a firmer dough in the heart and a more marked taste, more intense with slightly peppery notes. Brie de Melun is linked to the history of Damafro since Claude Bonnet, the creator of Damafro with his two sons, owned one of the last cheese dairies in Brie de Melun. To safeguard this precious local heritage, he actively participated in the defense and development of Brie de Melun by succeeding in obtaining its AOC in 1980.