When the Trente Arpents Farm embarked on this adventure some 20 years ago, cheese production in this region had all but disappeared due to stringent health regulations and economic difficulties. Today, the farm has realized its goal and is fully equipped to perform each step in the production of exceptional cheeses: from fodder grown with integrated farming techniques and raising the best dairy cows – Prim’Holsteins – to collecting raw milk produced exclusively on the farm.
To be found only at Trente Arpents and nowhere else
After developing a range of farm-produced specialties including two AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) cheeses – brie de Meaux and brie de Melun – cheese production at the Trente Arpents Farm has continued to diversify by adding the exclusive production of brie de Provins, which belongs to the family of soft-ripened cheeses with a flowery rind. A wheel of brie de Provins measures 27 cm (11 in) and weighs 2 kg (4.4 lbs). Due to its thickness (4 cm / 1.6 in), it must be aged for 8 to 10 weeks.
A potential new market
The production of this new specialty cheese has come at an opportune moment. Even though traditionally cheese does not sell as well during the warmer seasons, summer witnesses a sharp rise in the number of tourists visiting the fortified medieval town of Provins, which is on the list of Unesco World Heritage sites. Located only 80 km south-east of Paris, the town offers many different activities, including medieval entertainment and historical reenactments, and welcomes up to one million visitors each year. Provins promotes artisanal trades and local specialties, creating a potential new market for the Trente Arpents Farm’s products.
A different brie to suit every taste
Internationally renowned, brie de Meaux cheese is popular for its balanced, highly aromatic flavor. Brie de Melun, which has a more pronounced flavor, is produced in smaller quantities. The third type of brie cheese, brie de Provins, is distinctive for its mellowness and fruity, slightly acidulous bouquet. Each of these cheeses is produced using different fermentation methods. Coagulation time varies for each one as well – for example, just one hour for brie de Meaux compared to 18 hours for brie de Melun. Although brie de Meaux and brie de Provins are made using similar techniques, brie de Provins is aged for a significantly longer period of time.
To accompany your brie
Brie cheeses go nicely with rustic or country-style bread, grapes, dried fruit or a ribbon of honey. In recent years during New Year’s festivities, it is not uncommon to see brie served on a cheese platter with a black or white truffle-based accompaniment – a touch of contrasting refinement.
How to pair brie with the right wine?
Traditionalists who like to marry cheese and red wine will enjoy a glass of Château Clarke or Château des Laurets. Gourmet palates will be delighted to discover that brie and white wine – a Merle blanc or Baronne Nadine – go very well together.