The term "soft-ripened" is used to describe cheeses that ripen from the outside in. The most common soft-ripened cheeses have a bloomy rind and a very soft interior. These include cheeses such as brie and camembert. Here's a few other tidbits to know.
The edible bloomy rind is made of millions of tiny mushrooms.
The rind of soft-ripened cheeses is the white bloomy covering that tastes like earthy mushrooms. And that's because it is. It's made up of millions of microscopic mushrooms of the penicillin family.
Warm cream is added to make Double and Triple Cream cheeses.
If you think the best part about brie is the rich creamy center, then look for double or triple cream. This means extra cream has been added before the curd is formed.
There are differences between Brie and Camembert.
Traditionally, Camembert is from Normandy, France, and Brie is from Brie, France. Both are made from cow's milk, but cream is added to Brie, giving it a slightly higher fat content. As far as size, most Brie is produced in larger wheels and sold as wedges; whereas Camembert is sold as small wheels. Although, many producers are selling mini wheels of baby Brie that are similar in size to Camembert. In terms of flavor, Camemberts are described as more robust and earthy, while Brie is considered mild and buttery.
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Bloomy rind cheeses are made with different kinds of milk.
Cow's milk can be mild to robust with flavors of sweet grass and butter.
Sheep's milk cheeses are sweeter than cow's milk and can have a hint or roasted lamb on the finish, while the paste is buttery and sweet.
Goat's milk will lend flavors that are mild and subdued, with notes of salt, grassiness and a slight hint of mushrooms.