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Mimolette vieille etuvee.jpg
Country of originFrance
Region, townNord, Lille
Source of milkCows
Aging time2 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 for being made after the tradition of Edam cheese.


It was originally made by the request of Louis XIV, who – in the context of Jean-Baptiste Colbert's mercantilistic policies – was looking for a native French product to replace the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.[1] 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.[1]

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". This refers to the softness of the crust when young – with age it becomes harder. It has a grey crust and orangish flesh. The orange color comes from the natural seasoning, annatto. When used in small amounts, primarily as a food colorant, annatto adds no discernible aroma or flavor. The cheese has a similar appearance to a cantaloupe melon.

The greyish rind of aged Mimolette is the result of cheese mites intentionally introduced to add flavor by their action on the surface of the cheese.

Mimolette can be consumed at different stages of aging. When younger, its taste resembles that of Parmesan. Many appreciate it most when "extra-old" (extra-vieille). At that point, it can become rather hard to chew, and the flesh takes a hazelnut-like flavour.

The cheese was known to be a favorite of French President Charles De Gaulle.[2]

Health concerns in the U.S.[edit]

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.[3]


Many supermarkets sell this cheese, although it is sometimes made in the Netherlands.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Michelson, P. (2010). Cheese: Exploring Taste and Tradition. Gibbs Smith. p. pt29. ISBN 978-1-4236-0651-2. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Mimolette imports on hold". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  4. ^ Mimolette as sold by Carrefour (a large french supermarket chain which is also active in Belgium)