Goat Brie Cheese

Production, Uses, and Recipes

A wheel of goat brie with a cut out wedge

The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

Brie is a young, soft-ripened cheese with a creamy paste, an edible bloomy rind, and a distinctive aroma, usually associated with cow's milk. But many French cheesemakers use goat's milk to produce brie, and some Canadian and American producers do too. The smaller fat globules in goat's milk keeps the cream incorporated rather than rising to the top as it does with cow's milk. For some, this makes goat's milk easier to digest; people who cannot tolerate cheese made from cow's milk can often enjoy cheese made from goat's milk without issue. Goat's milk contains slightly less protein, fat, and calories than cow's milk, with significantly more vitamin A, vitamin B1, and riboflavin.

Fast Facts

Source: Goat's milk

Texture: Gooey

Flavor: Faintly of mushrooms

What Is Goat Brie?

Different brands of goat brie vary, but most share certain characteristics, such as a slightly tangy, often earthy flavor reminiscent of mushrooms; a bright white paste and edible rind; and a creamy texture that might be described as more gooey than the runnier texture typical with cow's milk brie. Goat brie tends to cost more than cow's milk brie. The bloomy rind distinguishes brie cheese, adding a slight funkiness prized among cheese aficionados.

Goat Brie vs. Cow Brie

The rind and interior of goat's milk brie looks more bright white than the cream color of brie produced from cow's milk. Goats convert the carotene in grass and hay into colorless vitamin A. Cows do not convert carotene, so it gives their milk a yellowish color. Goat's milk brie also tends to be milder and less aromatic than a ripe cow's milk brie.

How Goat Brie Is Made

Goat brie producers use the same methods as those used for cow's milk brie. Adding rennet and enzymes to the milk and then heating it causes curds to form. They get packed into molds, any excess whey gets drained off, and added yeast feeds the Penicillum candidum mold responsible for the rind.

Because United States law requires cheeses made with unpasteurized milk to age for at least 60 days, true French brie, a young cheese made from raw milk, cannot be purchased in the U.S.

Substitutes

You can use a brie made from cow's milk in place of goat brie, though the two do differ a bit in flavor, aroma, and texture. It's also possible to replace brie with other soft-ripened cheeses such as Camembert and reblochen.

Uses

Goat brie pairs well with a baguette or crackers and fresh fruit, cured meat, and olives. You can bake it in a skillet with mushrooms, wrap it in puff pastry, or top it with honey. It makes an unexpected choice on a grilled cheese or pizza and adds creaminess to dips.

For better flavor, let the cheese come to room temperature before you serve it. Many types of white wine complement goat brie, especially a crisp sauvignon blanc or Albariño, and sometimes a floral and aromatic white such as an Argentinian torrontes.

Storage

A whole wheel of goat brie, with intact rind all around, can be stored loosely wrapped in parchment or wax paper in the refrigerator for several weeks. Wedges with exposed paste should be wrapped in plastic, stored in the refrigerator, and consumed within a week. Although you can safely freeze goat brie tightly wrapped in plastic for up to six months, the texture and flavor suffers.

Goat Brie Recipes

Goat brie can be used in any recipe that calls for brie.

Can You Eat the Rind?

Like brie made from cow's milk, goat's milk brie has an edible bloomy rind. Though not everyone enjoys the thought of eating it, the rind of a well-made brie should enhance the experience of the cheese. Generally you want to include a bit of rind and a bit of paste in each bite of cheese. An unpleasantly thick rind, ammonia scent, or discoloration should deter you from eating it.