Mimolette (MEE-moh-LETT) is a semi hard cheese in a spherical shape, with a slightly flattened top and bottom, making it look a bit like a squashed bowling ball. It begins its life as “Mimolette Jeune” (meaning “young”), but after longer maturation the cheese becomes more complex, perfumed and nutty and graduates to “Mimolette Vieille” (meaning “aged”). As the cheese matures the natural rind becomes dusty and covered in little craters from cheese mites that are actually encouraged to assist in the development of the rind (normally cheese mites are unwelcome on the surface of cheeses). Annatto (a natural food dye) is used to give the cheese its orange colour which, with its pock-marked rind, makes it resembled a rockmelon.
A little history
Also known as “Boule de Lille”, Mimolette was originally matured in the cellars of the town of Lille. The method of production of this cheese is very similar to the Dutch cheese Edam and is said to have originated in Holland. When French minister Colbert forbade the import of foreign goods in the 17th Century, the French started making the cheese themselves and Mimolette was born. The Cesar Losfeld Mimolette is matured by the affinuers “Cesar Losfeld” who are a family business maturing cheese in Roubais, North-Calais, since 1871. Mimolette is one of the few cheeses that the French enjoy as an aperitif, rather than after a meal.