Thanksgiving is in our rear-view mirror, and we look ahead to Christmas.…
If you are in search of a smooth and subtle compliment for the weekend’s charcuterie board, you may wish to consider Mimolette. Once again, I found this cheese hidden in the vast Wegmans cheese department, and it caught my eye. At 110 calories per ounce and a price point of $17.99 per pound, I took home a small piece for $3.24.
I am not sure I would spend the 110 calories per serving. My cheese cave has been home to more complex cheeses worth the calorie spend. Mimolette stands at a fat content of about 40%, but let’s take a taste and a look anyway.
I, too, would like to be appreciated when I am ‘extra old.’
Mimolette is a French-made, cow’s milk cheese that improves with age. Often referred to as Boule de Lille, named after the city Lille. The true flavor is revealed with age.
The rind is hard yet pockmarked, I will explain later. The color is a distinct orange that stood out in a cheese case full of white, cream, and neutral colors. The color comes from annatto and is added to give a distinct look, so as not to be compared to similar round Belgium cheeses.
The flavors are nutty, buttery, and slightly fruity all at the same time. It crumbles when you cut into it, and that bodes well with figs and spreads on a water cracker or wafer. It marries well with other components of your charcuterie board. Some cheese authorities liken it to the Dutch cheese Edam.
Truth be told
In 2013, the FDA seized this cheese, halting imports to the U.S. on. According to culturecheesemag.com:
An important component of Mimolette’s development during affinage is the use of microscopic cheese mites. These “little affineurs”, as the French call them, create tiny holes essential to the cheese’s ripening and development. Caring for Mimolette includes the regulation of mite colonies to ensure the cheese matures properly.
Yet here in the U.S., the FDA feared these mites could trigger an allergic reaction. The ban only lasted a year. I do not think Wegmans is selling contraband in its Dewitt Store.
Ok, this was somewhat of a deal-breaker, and I wished I knew this before I consumed the cheese. I did not see any suspicious visitors on my cheese wedge. I enjoyed each morsel to the very end.
Don’t be put off by the mites
Mimolette is a cheese worth the adventure. Keep an open mind and eye on this curious cheese.