If Mozzarella Sticks Are Too Bland, Try Substituting Brie Instead

Ah, the mozzarella stick. It's an iconic, no-frills, can't-go-wrong appetizer. It's one of those snacks that survives all stages of life. We love mozzarella sticks as kids and adults alike, and while they are certainly not the fanciest dish on most menus, they're a go-to when ordering for a crowd because there is hardly ever a person at the table who would object to ordering deep-fried cheese — sans dietary restrictions, of course.

Although the flavor is mostly comprised of just two main ingredients (mozzarella and either bread crumbs or batter), there is more to this cheesy delight than meets the eye. The quality of the mozzarella, the seasonings within the bread crumbs, the flour dredge or batter mixture — it all makes a big difference in terms of taste. If you're someone who likes to take a chance on flavors every now and then, you might even consider swapping mozzarella for another type of cheese. If you're bold enough to do this, choose a cheese that still has a mild savor but with a different flavor profile. Enter: the Brie stick.

Substitute Brie in your mozzarella sticks for something different

Though it has a very distinct flavor compared to mozzarella, Brie does have some similar characteristics. It's a mild-tasting cheese with a soft texture, making it melt as easily as mozzarella but without as much stretch. If you're looking to switch up the traditional mozzarella sticks, try slicing Brie (make sure the cheese is cold to ensure easy cutting) and covering it in either breadcrumbs or batter to mimic mozzarella sticks but with a new, Frenchier flavor profile.

If you go this route, you might want to adjust the dipping sauce — Brie and marinara aren't exactly a perfect match. Fig jam is a popular pairing, so dipping it in something as simple as some jarred jam will work. Or, you can create your own sweet dipping sauce to counteract Brie's nutty, savory flavor by cooking down the fruit of your choice with sugar and a bit of warm water (blueberries, blackberries, or figs for your own homemade fig spread will all pair perfectly). For savory condiments, consider a rich onion jam, roasted red pepper dip, or even sun-dried tomato pesto.

Tips for the perfect Brie sticks

There are two keys to the best Brie sticks: cheese quality and the coating. For the creamiest, most melt-in-your-mouth Brie, you'll probably want to use a triple crème. Triple crème contains even more cream than double crème varieties, as well as a higher butter fat percentage, giving it a much softer texture and more decadent flavor. If you prefer sturdier sticks, opt for a denser wheel like Brie de Normandie or Brie de Meaux.

Once you decide on the type of Brie, make sure you properly coat the cheese to ensure it doesn't melt through its coating when it's fried. If you're using breadcrumbs, you might want to consider double-coating the cheese. To do this, simply dip each stick in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs, and just repeat the egg wash and bread crumbs a second time before frying. One last tip for Brie stick perfection: Make sure they are cold (or even frozen) before frying them. As with mozzarella sticks, this will help the cheese hold its shape during the frying process.