It is said that Mimolette was originally made by the request of Louis XIV, who was looking for a French cheese to replace the very popular Edam cheese from Holland. However to differentiate it from Edam, they coloured the cheese with annatto, a natural orange colorant.
This 6 months aged Mimolette is produced by Isigny Sainte-Mère, a cooperative dairy located in Normandie, France. The fame and fortune of Isigny Sainte-Mère was built on the unique flavour of its butter and the rich, silky texture of its crème fraîche. Isigny Sainte-Mère produces approximately 60% of the Mimolette in France.
Mimolette is a round shaped, uncooked, pressed paste, pasteurised cow's milk cheese, weighing 2.5 to 3 kg (5.5 to 6.5 pounds). Apart from its distinctive round melon shape, slightly flattened on top and bottom, Mimolette has a stricking bright orange coloured paste.
Mimolette can be eaten at various stages of maturity. A young, Mimolette (aged 3 months) has a moist semi-firm springy paste and rind. With the semi-old (aged 6 months), old (aged 12 months) and extra-old (aged 18-24 months) the paste of the Mimolette darkens to a deeper pumpkin coloured hue and becomes much harder with age, sometimes even hard to chew.
The greyish-tan textured crusty rind on an aged Mimolette is the result of Acarus siro mites. The action of these living cheese mites on the surface of the Mimolette contributes to its peculiar appearance and distinctive earthy flavor and intense aroma.
Most cheese lovers will appreciate an aged Mimolette for its exquisite spicy, salty flavour and its wonderful lingering caramelized butterscotch finish. Mimolette pairs nicely with desert wines such as a French Banyuls.