Acclaimed as one of the world’s great cheeses, Brie is characterized by an edible, downy white rind and a cream-colored, buttery-soft interior that should “ooze” when at the peak of ripeness. Though several countries (including the United States) make this popular cheese, Brie from France is considered the best and French Brie de Meaux dates back to the 8th century. Brie can be made from raw or pasteurized, whole or skim milk. Because Brie must be perfectly ripe for the best flavor, it’s important to select one that is plump and resilient to the touch; the rind might show some pale brown edges. Once ripe, Brie has a short shelf life and should be used within a few days. See also cheese.