The difference between Brie and Camembert, and answers to other commonly asked questions

Have you ever walked through the cheese aisle of a supermarket and really looked at the types of cheese on offer? Spoiler: there are way too many kinds of cheese out there!

At Unicorn Cheese, we love all kinds of cheese, but we will always have an extra special place in our heart for Brie and Camembert. As the proud manufacturers of high quality Brie and Camembert products, Brie and Camembert are more than just a tasty indulgence to us – they are our way of life.

Because we are so passionate about what we do, and partly because we simply love talking about cheese, here are some commonly asked questions about Brie and Camembert. With this handy guide, you’ll be a Brie and Camembert pro in no time.

What is the difference between Brie and Camembert?

In a nutshell, both Brie and Camembert are types of soft white cheese that originated from France. Brie is believed to have originated from an area in the southeast of Paris, whereas Camembert was originally made near the coast of Normandy, several hundred kilometres to the west.

Brie dates back to the 8th century, while Camembert, in comparison, is a much newer cheese, only dating back to the 1800s. Brie was generally made using the bacteria Brevibactirium, with Penicillium Camemberti being the bacteria of choice for Camembert.

They also differed in their forms: Brie was usually made into large flat wheels, weighing up to 3 kilograms, while Camembert came in small round wheels. Back in those days, the raw ingredients that were used in their respective regions to create these two types of cheese, plus their different surface areas due to their shape, ensured that Brie and Camembert tasted different from each other.

Today, Brie and Camembert are obviously produced in places far beyond their “hometowns” in France, which means that their original differences are no longer quite so pronounced. That’s not to say that they aren’t still different, however. As any cheese connoisseur will tell you, Brie is smoother and creamier, with a slight “mushroomy” taste, while Camembert is slightly sweeter, with a nuttier taste.

What is the white coating on Brie and Camembert cheeses?

The soft white rind on Brie and Camembert cheeses is actually a type of mould. The mould coating grows on the surfaces of Brie and Camembert, protecting the cheese inside and helping it to soften and mature in flavour. Most people love eating the rind, which has been described as a “mushroomy” aroma and flavour, but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy the soft, delicious and creamy cheese inside without the rind.

What’s the difference between Brie, Double Brie and Triple Cream Brie?

All delicious, the biggest difference between Brie, Double Brie and Triple Cream Brie lies in the type of milk that it used to make them. Double and Triple Cream Brie cheeses are usually made with creamier milk compared to Brie, with extra cream added directly in some cases, for a Brie with a creamier, more buttery taste. Not surprisingly, Brie typically has a higher fat content than Camembert, and which type of Brie you choose depends on how creamy you like your cheese. If you can’t decide, why not try them all?