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What's the Difference Between Camembert and Brie Cheese?

Ask the Chef

From our Ask the Chef series.

Q: What's the difference between camembert and brie?

A: Camembert and Brie are often confused because both are soft cheeses that come as cheese “rounds” with a rind on them. They can be used in the same traditional ways—as a dip ingredient, baked in phyllo dough, heated and served with crackers, or simply sliced and served with fruit or any sandwich ingredient. There are, however, some definite differences.

The shortest explanation is that Camembert has a stronger flavor than Brie, although it may be difficult to detect without a side-by-side comparison.

Both are French cheeses, with Camembert coming from the Normandy region and Brie reportedly originated south of Paris.

Both are made with whole milk, although there is some excellent goat’s milk Brie now on the market.* In the U.S., pasteurized milk is used—meaning you may find a remarkable difference in the cheeses found in France, were raw milk may be used.

*NOTE: if you use a Brie made with goat’s milk, keep in mind that baking time will need to be altered since goat’s milk cheese will melt much sooner.

For more, we suggest reading the excellent article found at www.thenibble.com.