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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Trader Joe's Mini Brie en Croute


couple posts ago, we discussed my unsophisticatedness. I'm just not into truffles. Despite my late mother's claims that I'm descended from British nobility, I've never had a taste for "fancy" things. I'm just as happy dining with paper plates and plastic cups as I am using fine china. In fact, I'd prefer the paper and plastic since no care need be taken in handling them. 

Or take caviar, as another example. I'm intrepid enough to have tried it multiple times, but I've never particularly liked it. I wish I liked it, because people who like it are "fancy." I've had it as an hors d'oeuvre with crackers, and I've had it on sushi. As much as I love classic sushi rolls, and even sashimi, I could never fully appreciate caviar. I've got more bourgeois in my marrow than blue blood, it would seem.


And I've given my spiel about brie on this blog before, too. I know, I know. Who doesn't like brie? Well, in general, I don't. But in the case of the Shells with Brie, I found it tolerable, since the brie was merely accompanying a number of other ingredients. So how will this appetizer fare? Let's take a look...

After heating the brie en croute, most of the pieces leaked out a bit of cheese and fused to one another on the baking sheet. No biggie. We salvaged about half of them fully intact, and the others...well, they wouldn't be fit to serve at a fancy shindig, but for Sonia and I just munching on them here and there throughout the day, they were just fine. 

I'm not sure what it is about brie that turns me off normally. I like most common cheeses just fine. I think brie is just a bit more "earthy" than other cheeses, and perhaps a little more intense. And in this case, the breading helped offset the natural flavor of the brie somewhat, which I was thankful for. The breading was soft and flaky, buttery, and pretty darn tasty. There were only certain bites here and there that tasted overly brie-ish. If you paid attention in science class, you'll know that heat can change the chemical properties of a substance, therefore changing the flavor of a toasted or baked food, to a degree. And that is to say, I think I like toasted brie a little better than raw brie.

Sonia thoroughly enjoyed both the puff pastry and the cheese. She liked that the pastry part was "light and airy," and she's always been a fan of brie. Her first instinct was to slather the apps with jelly. She grabbed some Welch's grape from the fridge and went at it. My initial reaction was to grimace at such a combo, but I must admit, it's not that bad. We both think it would go much better with a strawberry or raspberry flavored jelly or sauce, though. It might sound kinda random, but I'd also like to try them with that lingonberry jam from Ikea. At this point I should point out that the cup of sauce on the cover art is merely a "serving suggestion," and that this product does NOT come with a dipping sauce.

$4.99 for 10 pieces. Sonia's score probably would have been higher if it were slightly more affordable—four stars as it stands. I'll throw out three and a half. Not bad considering I don't like brie.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

9 comments:

  1. TJ's carries (seasonally) a "full size" Brie en Croute that is MUCH tastier than these bites. The full size version is a wheel of brie that I'd estimate is about 4 inches in diameter, wrapped with a dough that is more akin to pie crust. It's so much better, in my opinion. Better cheese, more flavor, tastier crust.

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  2. does the brie have the rind on it or is it just the cheese?

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    1. Neither of us think there was rind on it. It was hard to tell because all the cheese was inside the crust.

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  3. Really good accompanied by fig jam which cuts down on some of the earthy funky intenseness.

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  4. I think it's really weird it doesn't have a jam or chutney component as part of the app. Baked brie in pastry like this is nearly always topped with something like a cranberry chutney or other tart fruity topping (sometimes with nuts) so that the acid balances the rich cheese pastry combo. Grape jelly sounds off but the ligonberry would be perfect
    Ttrockwood

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  5. I’m wondering if it’s the rind that turns you off?

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    1. I don't think I've ever eaten the rind...

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    2. You cut it off and just eat the inside cream? Hmmm, part of why I like brie is the taste and texture of both of those components.

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  6. For me some brie has too much funk and tanginess. They say the creamy center of the brie is milder opposed to closer to the rind. Nathan- you should try a mild brie sometimes called a milky brie like Wegmanns (sp?) mild milky brie.

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