What is Mimolette Cheese- Why is it so Unique?

What is Mimolette Cheese- Why is it so Unique?

Ever wondered what the bright orange, moon-shaped cheese is strategically placed in your local fromagerie cheese counter? It is more than likely to be Mimolette. In this article, we look at what is Mimolette cheese, as well as what makes it so unique and what to pair it with.

What is Mimolette?

Mimolette cheese is a cows milk cheese that is very hard in texture. It originally comes from Lille, Northern France.
It has a contrasting texture, initially very hard and crumbly, but thick and creamy, a little like fudge. The flavour is rich, buttery, nutty, and the perfect contrast between sweet and salty. It is bright orange, due to the addition of annatto during the cheese-making process.

What is Annatto?

Annatto comes from the seed from an Achiote tree, which is native to South America. It has an intense colour which is the perfect addition to creating a bright orange cheese.

What Makes Mimolette Cheese so Unique?

In addition to its contrasting flavours and textures, Mimolette is known for its distinguishable rind. Similar to many hard kinds of cheese, Mimolette has a natural rind. However, cheese mites are left to nibble at the rind. This creates large holes across the cheese. The holes help to expose the cheese to more air, helping it to age better, dry out and increase the intensity of the flavour.

What are Cheese Mites?

Cheese mites are microscopic bugs that live on aged cheeses. They eat the mould particles that grow on the rind. Cheese mites are very common on the majority of hard cheese rinds. However, they are usually brushed off and removed. They are encouraged on Mimolette to improve the ageing process and enhance the flavour.

It is recommended to not eat the rind on Mimolette due to the cheese mites, as well as it having a rough, unpleasant taste and texture, common with natural rind cheeses.

Due to the cheese mites, Mimolette cheese is banned in the US and has been since 2013.

what is mimolette cheese
Cheese mites cause large holes to form in the rind.

What Should I Pair with Mimolette?

Mimolette cheese is great for grating and can enhance the flavour in dishes such as mac and cheese. It can also help to add a beautiful sweetness to salads.

Alternatively, pair Mimolette with a rich, full-bodied wine such as Malbec, or with an oak barrel whisky.

Alternative Cheese to Mimolette:

If you are unable to get your hands on Mimolette, a great alternative cheese to use is Gouda. Traditionally from the Netherlands, Gouda is similar in colour, comparable flavours, however, it is not as crumbly in texture.