The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Brie cheese. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What Brie etiquette is
Brie etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Brie. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow Brie etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about Brie
Brie is a type of soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a typical cheese of Northern France.
Brie is produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk. Its core is soft and light yellow in color. It is covered by a thin, edible rind of light gray mold.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat Brie
1) How to store Brie
Soft cheese usually has a short shelf life.
It is best to store Brie in the fridge. After opening, eat Brie within 1 or 2 weeks. Brie wedges can last up to 7 days.
If you are going to eat it in 1 or 2 days, you can keep Brie outside the fridge. Avoid keeping Brie out of the fridge when the outside temperature is above 24°C (75°F).
Do not wrap Brie in plastic. Avoid aluminum foil too. Brie needs to breathe to preserve its taste and texture. Instead, wrap it in waxed paper or parchment paper. Alternatively, you can place Brie in a plastic container, such as Tupperware.
You can store cooked Brie in the fridge. It can last for up to 5 days.
Avoid storing Brie in the freezer. Freezing makes the texture and taste of Brie noticeably worse. However, you can freeze Brie if you are going to serve it cooked. Brie can last up to 2 or 3 months in the freezer.
2) How to clean Brie
You do not need to wash Brie. Its mold rind is edible as is.
3) How to cook Brie
It is possible to cook Brie. Baking is the most common way. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Cook Brie for 10 to 15 minutes.
It is best to bake Brie whole. This way, the mold rind keeps the core intact. Otherwise, the core melts faster and oozes out.
Alternatively, you can melt Brie wedges on other ingredients. Such as baked potatoes.
4) How to serve & present Brie
Brie is usually served at room temperature. Take Brie out of the fridge at least 1 or 2 hours before serving.
Brie is appropriate as part of a cheese serving before dessert. Since it is a soft, delicate cheese, it is common as an appetizer too.
If you serve Brie on a cheese platter, arrange cheeses according to their flavor, from mildest to strongest.
You can serve Brie whole or in wedges. It is ideal to serve Brie on its own serving plate, with its serving knife and fork. It is ok to serve it on a platter or board with other cheese. However, make sure that each cheese has its own serving cutlery.
Another option is to serve Brie on a biscuit or on a cracker.
Serve cooked Brie immediately after cooking. Otherwise, preheat it before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair Brie with
Pair Brie with honey or fruit jams, such as fig jam. Nuts such as pecans or walnuts.
If you serve Brie as an appetizer, you can present it with a selection of charcuterie. Such as ham, prosciutto, or bresaola.
Brie is unusual with pizza and pasta.
Brie does not pair well with chicken, poultry, or fish.
You can pair Brie with sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco. White wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, or Riesling. Light-bodied red wine, such as unoaked Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, or Merlot. Brie goes well with beer too.
6) How to eat Brie
Eat Brie with its rind. It is not appropriate to discard it. If you do not like the taste or the texture of the rind, it is best to avoid Brie at all.
When Brie is served whole, you should slice it in wedges. Start slicing from the center. Keep the wedges thin. You can cut each slice into smaller pieces. Do not cut Brie into chunks.
When Brie is on a cheese platter, do not use serving utensils that are meant for other cheeses. If there are no serving utensils, you can pick a slice with your fingers. Hold it by placing your fingers on the rind.
If Brie is served cooked, eat it with a fork and knife.
Brie etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Brie etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving spoiled Brie.
- 7/10. Discarding the rind.
- 6/10. Pairing Brie with the wrong aromas.
- 4/10. Cutting Brie into chunks.
Additional information for properly serving Brie
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Brie contains 334 calories per 100 grams (95 calories per oz.). One slice is usually between 25 and 30 grams. Thus, Brie contains around 42 calories per serving.
How to buy the best Brie
A crucial factor in Brie etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Brie is available all year round.
Choose the best
The best Brie comes from France. The safest option is to buy a Brie with a AOC seal (Appellation d’origine contrôlée). The AOC is the French certification that guarantees the quality and the production method of typical food.
There are two varieties protected by an AOC: Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun.
Alternatives to Brie
The most popular substitute for Brie is Camembert. However, these two kinds of cheese are very different in texture and aroma.