If You Like Brie, You Should Try These Cheeses Next
It's hard to be everything to everyone, but brie comes pretty close. If you're looking for a delicious next step, here are some cheeses worth a try.
Brie is a nearly unbeatable cheese. Some versions are mild and milky; others are earthy and vegetal. It's decadent, while still being lower in calories than most other cheeses, thanks to the higher water content. It feels fancy, but is accessible for even the newest cheese lover. The only question is whether or not to eat the rind — to which the answer is always "if you want to!"
Brie, of course, can be enjoyed time and time again, but if you're looking for a delicious next step, here are some cheeses worth a try, based on what you like about your brie.
If you like the creamy decadence of a brie...
Brillat-Savarin is what's called a "triple-cream," meaning it's at least 72 percent fat by dry matter (a double cream would be at least 60 percent fat by dry matter). In other words, if you took out all the water in the cheese, it would be at least 72 percent fat. That may sound like a lot — and it's certainly not a low-calorie product — but because this cheese has quite a bit of moisture, it's still lower in fat than many hard cheeses. And, once you've taken a bite of this creamy, elegant cheese, you'll likely forget about the calorie count.
Buy it: $20/lb; murrayscheese.com
Casatica di Bufala
Casatica is made by Quattro Portoni in Bergamo, Italy, from rich water buffalo milk. While many cheesemakers who work with water buffalo milk stick to Mozzarella di Bufala, Bruno Gritti, owner of Quattro Portoni, has chosen to use this special milk for a range of cheeses, including creamy, sweet, and tangy Casatica. It's like a savory marshmallow in cheese form — charming and unforgettable.
Buy it: $13/8 oz.; dibruno.com
Named after a kindly local landlord in the colonial era, St. Stephen is an award-winning triple-cream cheese made in New York's Hudson valley. It's buttery, milky, and exactly what you're looking for when a Brie craving hits. In fact, it may even be better than your average Brie. Don't tell the French!
Buy it: $20; dibruno.com
If you like how delicate and mild brie can be...
Sweet Grass Green Hill
This beautiful little double-cream from southern Georgia is an award-winning American brie-style cheese made from pasture-fed Jersey cows. It's silky, creamy, and has delightful notes of buttered popcorn, especially when it's on the younger side.
Buy it: $12.50; sweetgrassdairy.com
Nettle Meadow Kunik
Luxurious Kunik is a triple-cream cheese comprised of 75 percent goat's milk and 25 percent Jersey cow cream. The animals eat a diet of hay, grains, wild herbs, raspberry leaves, and other treats, resulting in delicate, buttery herbaceousness. It's a real crowd pleaser (your goat-cheese-hating friends will be instantly converted), plus the owners run an animal sanctuary, so you can feel especially good about enjoying it.
Buy it: $35; murrayscheese.com
For those seeking a cheese equally crowd pleasing as brie but in a different style, this caramelly goat gouda will do nicely. It's creamy, nutty, gently savory and just as balanced and winsome as your favorite brie.
Buy it: $13.50/8 oz.; dibruno.com
If you like the earthiness of brie...
Brie Fermier is made with cultures that mimic the flavors of the robust, unpasteurized bries that you'd find in France. On the nose, you'll get garlic, onions, a bit of barnyard, and some roasted broccoli notes. On the palate, it's just broccoli cheese soup in cheese form. Prepare to be delighted.
Buy it: $11; eatmorecheese.me
Jasper Hill Harbison
If you follow any cheese mongers on social media, you've likely already seen Harbison a time or two. It's a cult favorite among those in the cheese industry and once you taste it, you'll understand why. It's buttery and creamy, but also has notes of sautéed wild mushroom, forest floor, and Dijon mustard. The spruce bark wrap imparts a woodsy flavor and holds its shape, even at its most oozy. Slice off the top rind and serve at your next party with potato chips for dipping. You can thank us later.
Buy it: $28; zingermans.com
Taleggio is an iconic Italian "washed rind" cheese, meaning it's rubbed down with a brine solution as it ages to bring out a hint of funk. When ripe, it basically becomes mushroom custard, with a pudding-like consistency and a gently meaty, yeasty flavor that's excellent smeared across a baguette.
Buy it: starts at $8.50; zingermans.com