Un-brie-lievably good
Credit: Photo by Kate Welsh

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Italy earlier this summer. While the cypress trees were beautiful, the wine delicious, and the roads appropriately harrowing, it was the breakfast spreads that knocked me over. Three cakes! Seven kinds of jam! Bowls of apricots! Plates of prosciutto! And lots and lots of cheese—wedges of parmesan, blocks of something creamy I never caught the name of, cubes of gorgonzola.

Of course, American breakfasts have no shortage of cheese. But it's cream cheese spread on a bagel, or cheddar melted on a sausage biscuit, or swiss shredded in an omelet—it's never just you and hunk of cheese. And maybe some bread for good measure.

So when Marin French Cheese, the longest continually operating cheese company in America, offered to send me some of their Petite Breakfast cheese, I was all for it. I'm always looking for something to keep me full until lunch in a somewhat healthy way. It certainly doesn't hurt if they feel a little bit like an edible escape, too.

Marin's Petite Breakfast cheese is, indeed, petite—a round with about the circumfrance of a coffee mug—perfect for sharing with a friend or two, or bringing on a picnic without worrying it'll go to waste. It's a fresh brie, which means that it skips the aging room most bries visit. That also means there's no rind to speak of, and therefore not much of a funkiness either.

While I'm not one to ever turn town a pungent blue in the P.M. hours, the A.M. ones call for something more mild. That makes Petite Breakfast perfect for the morning. Tangy but mellow, it seemed like what would happen if cream cheese was made sliceable, instead of spreadable. A coworker who came over for a taste described it as "fancy Laughing Cow," which was also on point. I ate wedge after wedge of Petite Breakfast on a crusty baguette with strawberry jam, and it made me feel a little bit like I was on a picnic in the countryside of southern France, not at a utilitarian table under the fluorescent office lights. And if that's not a sign of a successful morning meal, I'm not sure what is.