On Brillat-Savarin, The Cheese Perfect For Decadent Summer Nights


by Ashley Linkletter | Of all cheeses to write about, fresh Brillat-Savarin is perhaps the most befitting a short tome. Named after French epicurean and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who was especially enamoured with cheese and wrote that “a dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye…” a vivid (if hyperbolic) simile that places him in the annals of cheese history. Upon its invention in the 1890s, the cheese went by the names “Excelsior” and “Délice des gourmets” until the 1930s when it was renamed in honour of Brillat-Savarin. It’s now made year-round in Normandy and Burgundy and is available in small wheels as fresh, ripened, or layered with French truffles.

Fresh Brillat-Savarin is essentially a pasteurized triple cream brie that hasn’t been inoculated with a rind, leaving nothing but uninterrupted dense richness in its absence. The cheese itself looks and feels like stark white wet clay, keeping its shape but easily yielding to the slight pressure of a knife. Because there is no bloomy rind, fresh Brillat-Savarin is a saviour for pregnant women or those who are immuno-compromised and seeking the satisfaction of a creamy cheese. Like most triple cream bries, the almost whipped cream-like texture is cut by a lactic tanginess, giving the cheese an otherwise needed edge.

Fresh Brillat-Savarin is not unlike a singularly buttery cream cheese and can thus be used in its place as an accompaniment to smoked salmon, fresh berries and honey, or strewn with fresh herbs and applied with fervour to fresh bread. On the cheese plate, fresh Brillat-Savarin is a welcome addition to a summertime board and a delicious departure from trendy Burrata. Serve alongside other good summer patio cheeses; I like to pair it with something firm and fruity like Piave and maybe a small wedge of Wisconsin buttermilk blue cheese. Finish the board with seasonal fruit such as fresh figs or apricots and a few sprigs of fresh basil to really bring the look together. For a drink pairing, put fresh Brillat Savarin next to something light and bubbly on the tongue; a well-chilled bottle of Prosecco or dry sparkling rosé would make a fine August companion.


There are 0 comments

On Cemeteries With Liquor Licences and Keeping Up With a Ketchup Guardian

In her latest read of the food and drink news, Talia finds influential bars and the museum world's taste for ancient food.

That Time We Matched Fred Herzog’s Iconic Photo Locations to the Present Day…

Local photographer Fred Herzog passed away earlier this week. Five years ago, he inspired my son and I to go on a hunt.

Can You Correctly Identify This Vancouver Restaurant?

Do you think you know Vancouver's restaurant scene well enough to identify this spot? Give us your best guesses in the comments...

On Animating Sushi Construction and Bringing a Gun to a Chicken Fight

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds Germans cracking beer codes and depictions of a bygone Golden Age.