Ile de France, North Central France
Famous since the time of Charlemagne (742 AD), Brie de Meaux is the classic and original Brie, It was famously crowned the ‘king of cheeses’ by Talleyrand in the 1814 Congress of Vienna. This Brie is made by the third generation of the Dongé family, Luc and Jean-Michel. Their grandfather, Étienne Dongé, set the dairy up in 1930, and the Dongé family is one of only seven producers of Brie de Meaux remaining. Considered by many to be the best Brie makers, Luc and Jean-Michel have won the prestigious ‘Medialle d’Or’ nine times since 2000 (an award usually won only once in a lifetime) and 13 gold medals awarded by the Paris Concours General Agricole.
This Brie is produced outside Paris in the Ile-de-France and uses between 25-30 litres of raw milk, specially selected in the heart of the green Meuse region, to make one 3kg cheese. Carefully following the age-old traditional methods, the curd is hand-ladled in between 25-30 layers before being drained on rush mats, once removed from the forms the cheeses are turned twice a week and aged for 5-8 weeks. This Brie has rich notes of brassica and chanterelle with a creamy long finish. Enough said: stand tall, tear your baguette, and take a moment to appreciate the greatness of this cheese!