As all kids were trick or treating for candy, I was at The French Cheese Board to trick or treat for...cheese. Mimolette to be precise, the bright orange hue color of that quite unknown cheese being similar to a pumpkin and therefore perfect for some carving.
Mimolette was created at the demand of Louis XIV, in the 17th century: he wanted to have a French product that could compete with the then popular Dutch edam and had it colored orange, using a natural colorant called anatto. On the outside, the cheese looks like a cantaloupe, result of the work from cheese mites. Imagine that the cheese makers use 11 gallons of milk to make a ball of mimolette! The cheese is cave-aged and it was interesting to taste the mimolette at the different stages of the aging process.
First was the 3 month old mimolette:
At that stage, it is a soft cheese (the name comes from molle that means soft in French), with a subtle fruity aroma and a mellow nutty taste.
Then, the 12 months (vieille "old" mimolette):
As it ages, it becomes firmer, with a sharper taste, similar to a cheddar, that has a more intense fruity and nutty taste, with notes of caramel.
Then was the Extra Vieille "Extra Old" mimolette that is aged 18 months:
At that point, the cheese is hard and crumbly with unique flavor of caramel and a strong aroma of citrus and a roasted nutty taste.
What was interesting is to see how the cheese shrinks as it ages, between the 12 months (right) and the 18 months (left):
Back to Halloween, I got the chance to meet with Krai, the world’s only cheese sculptor, who carved mimoletes like pumpkins for the occasion: it was beautiful!
I thank The French Cheese Board, The Cheeses of Europe and Président cheeses for this wonderful event. By replacing pumpkin with mimolette, they may have re-defined the way Halloween should be celebrated in France, or at least the French way!
French Cheese Board
26 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018
From and about The French Cheese Board:
The French Cheese Board is a studio devoted to all things French Cheese. Conceived as an idea lab, it is a space for consumers & trade members to discover the diversity & richness that France has to offer through a series of interactive showings and events.
The new home of French Cheese in New York, we blend the culinary arts with contemporary art installations, meshing lifestyle, art, cheese & more. We put art & design at the forefront of modernity, development & innovation. We invite artists, designers, chefs & researchers to work together on projects related to French cheese & the nutrition of today & tomorrow. The French Cheese Board provides a platform for the exchanging of ideas – for education & for the Celebration of French Cheese.
Enjoy (I did)!
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