|Country of origin||France|
|Region, town||Nord, Lille|
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Aging time||2 months – 2 years|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Mimolette is a cheese traditionally produced around the city of Lille, France. In France it is also known as Boule de Lille after its city of origin, or vieux Hollande because of it was originally inspired by the Dutch Edam cheese.
Mimolette has a spherical shape and is similar in appearance to a cantaloupe melon. It normally weighs about 2 kg (approximately 4.5 pounds) and is made from cow's milk. Its name comes from the French word mi-mou (feminine mi-molle), meaning "semi-soft", which refers to the oily texture of this otherwise hard cheese. The bright orange color of the cheese comes from the natural seasoning, annatto. When used in small amounts, primarily as a food colorant, annatto adds no discernible flavor or aroma. The grey-colored rind of aged Mimolette occurs from cheese mites that are added to the surface of the cheese, which serve to enhance its flavor.
Mimolette can be consumed at different stages of aging. When younger, its taste resembles that of Parmesan. Many appreciate it most when it is "extra-old" (extra-vieille). At that point, it can become rather hard to chew, and the flesh takes on a hazelnut-like flavor.
It was originally made by the request of Louis XIV, who – in the context of Jean-Baptiste Colbert's mercantilistic policies – was looking for a native French product to replace the then very popular Edam. To make it distinct from Edam, it was first colored using carrot juice, and later seasoned with annatto to give it a distinct orange color.
Health concerns in the U.S.
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration detained about a ton of the cheese, putting further imports to the United States on hold. This was because the cheese mites could cause an allergic reaction if consumed in large quantities. The FDA stated that the cheese was above the standard of six mites per cubic inch.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mimolette.|
- "Mimolette (ou Boule de Lille)". Le Guide du Fromage (in French). Retrieved 2021-04-24.
- Michelson, P. (2010). Cheese: Exploring Taste and Tradition. Gibbs Smith. p. pt29. ISBN 978-1-4236-0651-2. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
- Dhooria, M.S. (2016). Fundamentals of Applied Acarology. Springer Singapore. p. 455. ISBN 978-981-10-1594-6. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Mimolette". The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
- Karlin, M.; Anderson, E.; Reinhart, P. (2011). Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses [A Cookbook]. Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-60774-044-5. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- Lynch, B.; Smart, J.; Jones, D. (2019). Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition. HMH Books. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-547-41736-3. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- "Mimolette Cheese, It's Illegal, Not Immoral, And It Might Make You Fat". Tried & Supplied. 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
- Donnelly, C.; Kehler, M. (2016). The Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford Companions. Oxford University Press. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-19-933090-4. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
- "Mimolette imports on hold". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-05-19.