Why does brie taste like ammonia?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “Why does brie taste like ammonia?”, share some curiosities about Brie cheese and talk about how to store these cheeses. 

Why does brie taste like ammonia?

Brie can taste like ammonia because “Bloomy rind cheeses” have mold cultures that promote a series of biochemical reactions that result in the production, among other compounds, of ammonia. Depending on the level, it is absolutely normal.

If the cheese is tightly wrapped in plastic and not allowed to breathe, or stored at very cold temperatures the ammonia cannot escape, so the ammonia build-up is so great that there is a terribly strong ammonia smell and taste.

Cheeses purchased at the supermarket sometimes are not allowed to breathe as they would in a case at a cheese shop, therefore it is fairly usual to pick up a brie from a grocery store fridge and bring it home to be greeted with a lot of ammonia. 

What are some important features about brie cheese?

Brie cheese has a white rind as a result of fungal action

If you love cheese, you already know that fungus plays a crucial role in its production. And it would be no different with brie, because, in addition to its rind, the fungus Penicillium camemberti is also in charge of the internal and exterior maturing process.

The rind can also be eaten

Many individuals avoid eating the brie rind, maybe because they are aware that it is the consequence of a fungus. However, you should give it a try, it is delicious and harmless.

Younger cheeses have a softer texture

When the cheese has been aged for up to 30 days, the mass around the rind softens and the inside becomes denser, which is due to mold. Cheese enzymes make it creamier and more refined with time, as seen in cheeses that have been aged for more than 30 days. 

Try it before you buy it

Ask to taste at least one slice of the brie cheese before purchasing it. It is best to buy little slices of this cheese since once opened, it is difficult to keep at home. A good rule of thumb is to avoid purchasing cheeses with very white rinds that have not yet fully established their consistency.

Champagne is a traditional match

White and red wines combine well with brie, nevertheless, because the regions that produce this cheese and sparkling wine are so close, their combination has become a frequent and enjoyable habit in France.

When sliced, Brie cheese does not mature

Cheese that is not quite ripe will be hard to the touch. It is worth noting that aged brie has a richer taste and a more crumbly texture. Avoid buying in bulk since slicing these cheeses causes them to cease maturing.

The finest brie pairings

This cheese is delicious on its own, but if you want to enhance its flavor, add additional delicacies like apples, pears, jellies, jams, and even honey. It also accompanies French bread, almonds, sweets, and cookies very well.

Brie cooling time

To preserve the quality of this cheese, take it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Another key suggestion is to not keep it immediately exposed to air, especially to avoid compromising its quality.

Is it possible to bake brie cheese?

Yes, brie can be cooked in aluminum foil and works well with fondues, sauces, meats, and some salads, despite the fact that it is often enjoyed cold.

There are two types of Brie cheese

Brie cheese has two variants, both of which originated in France. The first is Brie de Meaux, which has a more defined texture and a powerful flavor, but it is not spicy. In addition, the Brie de Melun is a saltier choice with an almost melted feel, and its peel has more crimson tones.

How to store Brie cheese?

The original package with tiny holes helps to maintain the original properties of the cheese, so it must be covered with the original paper in which it is sold.

It is advised to wrap them in cling film if they are sliced; if they are in pieces, they must be covered.

Wrapping the pieces in an absorbent paper towel and then passing a plastic sheet that sticks well to the product is an alternative to preserving these cheeses properly in the fridge without losing flavor and texture. Put it in a container with a cover and you will be able to eat it for the following two days.

Other FAQs about brie cheese that you may be interested in.

Can you eat the outer part of brie cheese?

Why does brie taste like ammonia?

What is brie cheese?


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “Why does brie taste like ammonia?”, shared some curiosities about Brie cheese, and talked about how to store these cheeses. 


Proestakes, John. “Why Brie Smells like Ammonia.” John Eats Cheese (blog), February 16, 2014. https://johneatscheese.com/blog/2014/02/16/brie-smells-like-ammonia/.

“Quanto Tempo Dura o Queijo Brie Na Geladeira?” Accessed January 19, 2022. https://vocepergunta.com/library/artigo/read/170167-quanto-tempo-dura-o-queijo-brie-na-geladeira#question-1.