Fromage de Meaux
Made in Ile de France, in northern France, the production of Fromage de Meaux is identical to that of Brie de Meaux, with one key difference. Fromage de Meaux is made from pasteurized milk, whereas Brie can only be produced using raw milk.
The AOC (name protected) status awarded in 1980 to Brie de Meaux, stated that cheeses must be made from raw milk in order to comply. In order to satisfy the tremendous demand for Brie de Meaux - as well as comply with the United States' import regulations concerning raw milk cheeses - it was decided to produce a pasturized version called Fromage de Meaux.
Traditionally, maturation of Fromage de Meaux lasts about eight weeks and must take place within the areas of Ile de France, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine or Bourgogne.
Production of Fromage de Meaux can be artisanal or industrial. Due to the large surface area of the cheese, liquid evaporates quickly. Therefore, during cheesemaking, the curd is handled very carefully to retain as much moisture as possible, and cheeses are allowed to drain naturally without any pressing.
When Fromage de Meaux is consumed, at least half the thickness of the cheese should be ripe.
The cheese has a balanced appearance and aroma and the rind should look like white velvet, although when the cheese is very ripe the top and sides will often have red patches.
The interior paste is the color of straw, with occasional holes, becoming softer as the cheese ripens under the rind. Aromas are slightly sweet and smoky with a rich, concentrated mushroom or truffle flavor.
As with Brie de Meaux, the flavor characteristics of Fromage de Meaux are luxuriously rich, buttery and smooth and fill the palate in a balanced, creamy way.