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When it comes to brie, there's the ordinary stuff and there's Brie de Meaux. Cheesemakers in France tried to protect the name of brie (the cheese was originally made in the region of Brie) but their efforts were in vain - it's now produced in many other countries, including the United States and Australia.

However, Brie de Meaux, named after a town in Brie, has an AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) designation. The raw cow's milk cheese is made and aged in Brie. The large, flat wheels of cheese have a snowy white soft crust that gives way to a deliciously rich, creamy, pale yellow, runny interior.

Brie de Meaux is fantastic on its own, but I also love it for breakfast: toast a piece of good, crusty bread; while the bread is still warm, slather a thick layer of Brie de Meaux on top and enjoy it as an open-faced sandwich.