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Old 03-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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Bad Brie?

So I've recently learned that we have a cheese monger not 5 minutes from my house. He sells the most wonderful raw milk cheeses, and I've fallen in love with Piave cheese in particular.

I decided to try out what I've been told is a "real" brie, the "Brie de Meaux"...except that when I brought it home, it tasted terrible. I've heard that Brie is supposed to have a slight "ammonia" taste...but this was overwhelmingly bad. Did we get a bad piece, or was it supposed to taste like that? We tasted a few other cheeses that were decidedly terrible as well, so I can't really tell

Mike

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
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I don't know about what you had, crono, but I once bought a big wedge of brie for $1.00 at an open air market that's famous for discount prices (Boston's Haymarket).

The brie smelled just like urine and tasted horrible. Had to toss it.

Up until now, I just assumed it was overripe, but maybe it was similar to your "real brie". In any case, I couldn't eat it.

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
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it should have a medium rind, and it will smell...it is mold, but the flavor should be like slightly sweetened, yet slightly sour cream, and the texture should give under the cut of a knife, and stick just a little, but melt in your mouth, and be palatable.

IF there is any type of aroma of ammonia, which I never honestly thought of until now, it would be VERY faint, and just in the nose as the cheese enters your mouth.

As for the other cheeses, well I would be bummed if your monger is passing along bunk cheeses. Sure some are stronger then others, but a good cheese is a GOOD cheese.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
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I don't know about what you had, crono, but I once bought a big wedge of brie for $1.00 at an open air market that's famous for discount prices (Boston's Haymarket).

The brie smelled just like urine and tasted horrible. Had to toss it.

Up until now, I just assumed it was overripe, but maybe it was similar to your "real brie". In any case, I couldn't eat it.

Lee
That explains it pretty well. I've had Brie that has been exactly as Tattarat described, and I thought that maybe I'd just been buying "Americanized" Brie. It's good to know that I was eating bad cheese, because...I can't imagine why anyone would eat what I bought
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Brie should not have even the slightest hint of ammonia the mold on the outside should be the purest white if not it is to old. Any ammonia smell means it's bad. Why would anyone want to eat a cheese that has even the slightest hint of ammonia?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:09 PM   #6
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It's hard to get a good brie that isn't old ( unless you live in a place that sells it all the time meaning it turns over quickly when it is fresh even the mold is fantastic and is supposed to be eaten. Again it should not have even the slightest ammonia smell.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:30 AM   #7
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I bought some Brie several years ago by a guy who had just opened a cheese shop in town. It smelled like ammonia, we couldn't get it past our noses. I took it back and he tried to make a fool out of me, saying that is how it is supposed to taste. He did refund my money,but I never went back.
By the way,if you do come across some really good Brie, buy extra, wrap it really tight, and freeze it. If you have a Foodsaver, freeze the cheese and put it in one of those bags. It freezes very well and does not lose its taste.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:44 AM   #8
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I typed "brie ammonia" into a search engine and it found several articles about brie being over-ripened if it has this smell.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:49 AM   #9
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Also as I said before be sure the rind is pure white if it has any yellowing of brown it already smells like ammonia. I look for the white rind and then check expiration dates then I pick the one with the longest exp date.

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Old 03-14-2008, 11:52 AM   #10
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I typed "brie ammonia" into a search engine and it found several articles about brie being over-ripened if it has this smell.
or mishandled or tempurature fluctuations. I have people who insist the ammonia smell is normal it is not.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:21 PM   #11
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raw single cream brie can be quite runny when ripe and very "high" a distinct "nose" call it ammonia. Your pasturinzed bries and double and triple cream bries don't get this "stinky". those of us who like a "heady" cheese, love that intense brie, and it is hard to find.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:51 PM   #12
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I enjoy ripe unpasteurized Bries & Camemberts frequently, & a strong ammonia scent &/or taste shouldn't come into the equation.

For those who enjoy the scent & taste of ammonia in overripe cheese, all the more power to you. Call it whatever title ("high nose") you want. Enjoying spoiled cheese is definitely an acquired taste, as is the spoiled/rotten shark of Iceland, & other highly fermented dishes that are enjoyed by many. There's certainly nothing wrong with enjoying those tastes, but please don't make it sound like there's something wrong with the rest of us because ammonia just isn't our thing - lol!!!!!

For the rest of us cheese plebians, a strong ammonia scent, off-color rind, unpleasant (as in slightly rancid) taste in Brie, Camembert or similar soft-rind cheese means it's highly likely an overripe cheese, & any reputable cheese shop should take it back & refund your money.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #13
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I enjoy ripe unpasteurized Bries & Camemberts frequently, & a strong ammonia scent &/or taste shouldn't come into the equation.

For those who enjoy the scent & taste of ammonia in overripe cheese, all the more power to you. Call it whatever title ("high nose") you want. Enjoying spoiled cheese is definitely an acquired taste, as is the spoiled/rotten shark of Iceland, & other highly fermented dishes that are enjoyed by many. There's certainly nothing wrong with enjoying those tastes, but please don't make it sound like there's something wrong with the rest of us because ammonia just isn't our thing - lol!!!!!

For the rest of us cheese plebians, a strong ammonia scent, off-color rind, unpleasant (as in slightly rancid) taste in Brie, Camembert or similar soft-rind cheese means it's highly likely an overripe cheese, & any reputable cheese shop should take it back & refund your money.
I agree with you 100 percent I once bought a large wheel of brie for a Bed & Breakfast I worked at and it was so fresh that when I cut a large wedge of it off a couple of days later the white mold grew right over the cut part. Amazing. The same goes for me with goat cheese I do not like old goat cheese it is too strong for me but fresh goat cheese is really lovely.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #14
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please don't make it sound like there's something wrong with the rest of us because ammonia just isn't our thing
I do not see where anyone made it sound that way.

I never used to like brie, but lately I have been learning to enjoy it. I have never noticed the ammonia smell though.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:22 PM   #15
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I have never had a type of cheese I did not like, including stuff like Limburger and Gjetost, stuff that many find unpleasant. Actually a lovely wine with Gjetost is just great.

That aside, have never had a food product that smelled of ammonia without being 'off'.

Putrefication releases ammonia.

To me Brie is a lovely cheese, a whif of ammonia I think would put me off.

And if I had a cheese monger tell me that is the way the stuff is supposed to smell, I let him go out of business quietly.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:49 PM   #16
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I saw this thread, and the next day I chose our weekly cheese (we try a new one every week). Was supposed to be a nice Camembert. I opened it up and it stank just like ammonia. I had forgotten to check the date at the store. Stupid me, I ALWAYS check dates. It was 4 days from being due.

NASTY!!!

Anyways, if I hadn't read this thread, I would have probably tried to eat it, not knowing what Camembert smells / tastes like. And I STILL don't know!
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:57 PM   #17
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Yep, cheeses can smell and taste of ammonia due to being overripe, it's called ammoniated and common in Brie and Camembert. But lightly ammoniated cheese is still safe to eat ! !

Of course not a nice introduction if it's your first Brie or Camenbert, which incidentally are basically the same cheese, just made originally in different parts of France and Brie is in large rounds and Camenbert is normally small rounds.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:00 PM   #18
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hm, that's interesting. I didn't know that Brie and Camembert where the same (ish).

I was reading a great book called "Last chance to eat: the fate of taste in a fast food world". The author devotes a quarter of the book to Brie, which is no longer being made in the traditional way. I was saddened to try the bad brie we bought, but I have to try again :-)

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Old 05-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #19
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, and I thought that maybe I'd just been buying "Americanized" Brie. It's good to know that I was eating bad cheese, because...I can't imagine why anyone would eat what I bought
wow, good to know you were jsut getting poisoned by food, rather than being americanized.

cheese should never taste bad. like tatt said, it may have a funky nose, but it should never taste bad. that's mold and other creepy stuff (not americans) run amok.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:59 AM   #20
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Best way to choose a good Camenbert/Brie (normally buy brie in cut triangles):
Buy from a reputable store so you know it's been stored - matured correctly (OK that didn't work out for you.
Choosing and consuming one that is closest to it's best by date (this does not mean it expires on that date).

Of course you need to bring wither up to room temp before eating to bring out the aroma and fravor.

One quarter of a book just on brie! My understanding is that US laws only allow cheese made from pasteurized and homogenized milk, if you see merlin's post in the forum of website in my signature, he says French Brie's made from raw milk "completley blows our stuff out of the water".
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