There is no point in naming every cheese in the world as there are so many. What you can do is separate the various types of cheese into categories.
Every cheese has its take on core cheese characteristics, such as intensity, texture, and aroma. These affect when the cheese is best used and the vibe of the cheese. Take camembert and brie, for example; they are often called the ultimate comfort foods. But are their core cheese characteristics the same?
The size of the wheel that a cheese is shaped into drastically affects the taste and texture of the cheese. In the case of camembert, it is usually formed into a small wheel of around 10 cm in diameter, allowing it to age quicker. Brie is formed into larger wheels of roughly 35 cm in diameter.
What is Camembert?
Named for its Normadic place of origin, camembert has been an iconic French cheese since the 18th century.
You have probably seen a camembert sold as a small, whole wheel. This is more than just a marketing choice and has been the method for selling camembert since it was first commercialised.
Leaving the camembert whole means that its rind stays intact, allowing the cheese to age and ripen for even longer.
The result is a stronger-tasting cheese that has a sour hint and just as aromatic pungency.
Camembert is an extremely soft cheese. So soft that it turns into a wonderfully gooey mess once heated or baked, almost wholly losing its structure. That is why it is commonly used as a tabletop cheese.
What is Brie?
As a general rule, brie cheese is not a protected cheese like mozzarella so it can be made all over the world and is an extremely affordable snack.
Originating from Île de France, brie is known all over the world for its extremely creamy texture, which makes the perfect addition for delicious dinner parties or a cosy movie night with friends.
The key to a good-tasting brie is to not age the cheese for too long.
This is because brie that is overly ripe can taste strongly of ammonia and is all around unpleasant.
But brie that has been aged for between 5 weeks and a few months is extremely creamy with a buttery texture because of its high butterfat content.
Most brie is on the milder side which is why it can be used in a range of dishes. As brie ages, it develops an earthy taste which can be harder to pair with other foods.
Similarities Between Camembert and Brie
Some types of cheese are so different they have next to no similarities worth mentioning. That is not the case with camembert and brie. There are a good number of important similarities between the two cheeses worth mentioning:
Though brie and camembert are typically sold in different shapes, as whole wheels they are practically indistinguishable. They both have an almost flaky white rind and a creamy-coloured cheese paste interior once cut into.
Camembert and brie are as French as cheese can get. They are popular all over France and are used in countless ways within French cuisine.
What makes camembert and brie so comforting other than the fact that they are both types of cheese is their wonderfully soft texture.
This softness is delicately creamy and melts in the mouth, even when the cheese is served cold — they are just that soft.
Both camembert and brie have been traditionally made using raw cow milk. It is this milk that allows the cheeses to have their creamy texture that they are so well known for.
Differences Between Camembert and Brie
Despite all of their notable similarities, there are enough differences between camembert and brie to make them very different types of cheese. For example:
This can be a varied difference depending on the cheese manufacturer but it is typical for camembert to have a lower fat content than brie cheese.
As such, camembert is the healthier of the two cheeses but has a different texture.
Due to its lower fat content, camembert, while still wonderfully creamy, is not as creamy or buttery in texture as brie. This is something to keep in mind if you are wanting to use the cheese for a perfectly buttery dish and want the best finish.
Many overlook the wheel size of cheese but it is actually one of the most important factors that affect the taste and texture of a cheese.
There are some variations of how large brie and camembert cheese wheels need to be but for the most part, camembert wheels have a 10 cm diameter with a 3 cm thickness.
Brie wheels are significantly larger at 35 cm in diameter and 3 cm in thickness.
Weight per wheel also varies with most camembert wheels weighing only 250g and brie wheels weighing around 3 kg.
Camembert cheese ages much quicker than brie once it has been formed into its final wheel as it is significantly smaller with a smaller amount of cheese to age at once. This results in a slightly sharper and earthier taste on average.
Brie cheese wheels are much larger than camembert wheels, meaning that they take longer to age.
As such, most brie has a younger, milder taste closer to a sweeter mushroom than savoury earthiness.
Camembert vs Brie: Which Wins?
Which cheese wins in your eyes? Are you a big fan of camembert or would you struggle to resist brie? It’s time to vote when we put camembert vs brie in front of you:
Do You Prefer Camembert or Brie?
Camembert and Brie FAQs
If you have more questions about camembert, brie and what makes them different, then check these out:
It is quite common for the rind of camembert to be enjoyed as the cheese is eaten, though low-quality camembert rind will taste gross. High-quality camembert rind can have a mushroom-like kick.
Yes! The rind of brie is soft. Not as soft as the cheese itself but it is soft enough to eat. It can be a little overpowering for some people but if you love your cheese then you’ll love the rind too!
Where we obtain our information and verify the facts in this article:
Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.