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Cheese of the Week: Isigny Sainte-Mère Mimolette

Just in time for Halloween, it is only appropriate that our cheese of the week is Mimolette! This bright orange cheese is made with pasteurized cow's milk and gets its delightful hue from the addition of annatto. According to Isigny Sainte-Mère, Mimolette is orange because in the 18th century, Louis XIV chose the color to distinguish French cheeses from Dutch cheeses. During this time, Louis XIV prohibited the import of Dutch cheeses into France. The residents of northern France had strong ties to the Netherlands and loved and appreciated Dutch foods, so they created their own spin on Dutch Edam, and thus Mimolette was born!

Mimolette has a dense and fudgy with a fruity, nutty flavor with butterscotch tones. As Mimolette ages, its texture gets harder and more crumbly and develops complex, sharp flavors with hazelnut notes. Isigny Sainte-Mère offers Mimolette at several ages: Jeune (aged 3 months), Demi-Vieille (aged 6 months), Vieille (aged 13 months), Extra-Vieille (aged 18 months) and Grande Réserve (aged 24 months).

Besides the bright orange color, Mimolette's gray rind makes it a very special cheese. During aging, microscopic cheese mites feed on the mold that develops on the rind. These mites contribute to the cheese's flavor and give Mimolette its distinctive, cratered rind. Cheese mites are completely harmless to humans.

Mimolette is made from high-quality pasteurized Normandy cow's milk that is known for its richness, high fat content, and high protein and vitamin content. The milk is collected every 48 hours and tested to ensure it meets Isigny's quality standards. The milk is then heated and cultures, rennet, and annatto are added. The curd is cut, drained and pressed. They then go into cloth-lined molds and pressed for a final time to drain the remaining whey. After being removed from the molds, the wheels are placed in a salt bath for 72 hours before making their way to the aging caves.

Pair Vieille, Extra-Vieille and Grande Réserve Mimolette with Stouts or Cabernet Sauvignon. Younger Mimolette goes best with Pinot Noir or Champagne. Craft a scary good cheeseboard by pairing Mimolette with charcoal crackers, pumpkin seeds and your favorite cured meats. You can purchase this gorgeous orange cheese from igourmet. 🎃🧀


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