In Favor Of Brie On Sandwiches

I've written about New Cheese Day, a holiday I made up that seems a lot more meaningful than National Brownie Day or International Pickles Week (which is actually a thing). A new kind of cheese can bring your old standby sandwich to new levels. I'd like to go a little more in-depth and tell you a story about a little girl who didn't like brie.

...that's pretty much the story. I stand before you and admit, I used to think brie was the devil. The rind was bitter and waxy, the cheese seemed tainted by the bitterness and I couldn't fathom how "the adults" could possibly smear such copious amounts on a single cracker. It was one of the few things I refused to eat.

In college, there was one bar/restaurant that didn't ID you if you ordered two pitchers of beer at a time, almost like a secret code. Having finished all my wings, I grabbed the uneaten half-sandwich off my friend's plate with the intention of leaving a huge surprise chomp mark. The sandwich was awesome, and it wasn't just the four Blue Moons before my 8 p.m. copyediting class (note: do not go to copyediting buzzed or you'll never remember the difference between gourmet and gourmand). There was something on it I hadn't tasted before. After receiving a mild verbal thrashing for marking my territory on her sandwich, I asked my friend what was in it.

"Turkey, cranberry and brie."

"Brie, really?"

"Yup, glad you liked it."

And I discovered that while brie on a cracker can be a little much — especially the amount I now put on crackers — a few thick slices at room temperature in a sandwich with your other favorite things can add an incredible richness that mayo and American cheese can't touch. Here are a few basic sandwiches just begging for it:

Feel like mellowing out the flavor a little more before you dive into a sandwich relationship? Brie loses a lot of that sharp bitterness when heated or cooked. Try these:

And if you're committed to trying something 10 times before you know whether you like it, a pitcher of hefeweizen is a good catalyst.