Mimolette is a hard cheese that is both French and Dutch in origin. This cheese is very similar to Edamcheese in taste but the carrot-orange color makes it very distinctive. The longer the cheese is aged the darker the color of the cheese. The cheese is very easy to recognize due to its hard round ball shape which is dark orange brown and cracked in appearance.
History of Mimolete cheese
Mimolette is derived from the name mimou that is French which means partially soft. Mimolete is not soft though. Initially, the cheese is made soft but as it ages the cheese becomes harder and almost crumbly in texture. In order to reduce the French dependence on Dutch Edam, Louis XIV requested a variety that could mimic the cheese without looking completely like the Dutch version. Mimolete was made to resemble Edamcheese in origin and taste but to make it distinctive, the yellow color annatto was added to the cheese when processing. This resulted in the hard outer shell with a distinctive yellow interior. It is also called the Boule De Lille as this was supposedly the first place where the cheese was made. The current method of processing the cheese has not varied much. One distinctive reason for the unique taste is that manufacturers add special cheese mites to the fermenting cheese. These mites drill into the cheese creating the hard outer porous crust and the taste of the cheese. Workers turn the cheese every week and dust off the mite feces that collect on the outer rind of the cheese in the form of dust.
Culinary Uses of Mimolette
Mimolette is usually eaten only after a maturation period of 18 months but it can be eaten raw. There is a distinctive taste difference when the cheese is half-old or six months old and it is called as demi-vielleor half old. When the cheese is a year old, it is called as vielle or old and when it is18 months, it is tres vielle or very old. When the cheese is served at six months old, it tastes almost like Parmesan. The older the cheese gets the stronger the taste and the chewier it is. Mimolete is commonly used as a substitute for Parmesan and Cheddar and can be used as a table cheese or grated on to soups, salads and gravies.
Mimolete cheese Buying/Storing Tips
Mimolette is a really great cheese and it stores really well. When the cheese is cut, it has to be covered with parchment paper to preserve the taste. Any cheese that is more than two years old has to be discarded.
Nutritional Value of Mimolete cheese
Mimolette single servings of 100 gms have 326-385 calories. It also contains 657 - 865 mg of calcium, 24-29 Gms of lipids, 45% or more of fat, and 22-27 Gms of protein.
Mimolette is a slightly pricier cheese as it has to be served only after completing eighteen months of ageing. It can be served early but the taste is completely different. This reduces its availability in the market and increases its cost. Mimolete is discarded if it is more than two years old.