Brebiou: Gentle as a Lamb
September 13, 2010
Brebiou is a cheese that is gentle and easy to like. It has a light aroma, soft flavors and a creamy smooth texture. Brebiou’s profile is more humble country than urban sophistication. Eating this cheese evokes images of casual outdoor gatherings and cozy family meals.
Brebiou is a semi-soft, pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees region of France. The interior paste is milky white and smooth; it is solid and unmarred by holes or cracks. To the touch, the paste is smooth and squishy.
In contrast, Brebiou’s bloomy rind is deeply cratered, dry and firm to the touch. The rustic rind also shows markings from the linen wrappings and bowl-shaped mold used during its production. The rind has a light musty odor.
This cheese is gentle, not overly complex and likely to please kids. The flavors are brief and simple–a light sourness and mild saltiness. Brebiou’s semi-soft consistency is creamy, smooth and nice on the tongue. The harder rind is too bulky and hard for such a smooth cheese, yet it can be eaten.
My juvenile tasters liked Brebiou a lot. One taster compared it to Port Salut and said that in contrast to that cheese, Brebiou is “mild and memorable.” This is not a cheese that will overwhelm the senses or make a big statement. However, Brebiou would make a fine cheese to share at a casual gathering.
Purchasing notes: Our purchase source was 24th Street Cheese Shop (San Francisco). As this cheese ages, the paste will develop more creaminess near the rind.