Goodbye Mimolette?


Oh mitey, mitey Mimolette… will we ever see you in the USA again?

As some of you know, the FDA has seized incoming shipments of Mimolette from France. This cheese, identical – as far as we know – to the tons of Mimolette imported and eaten in the USA every year, will likely be destroyed and no one will want to take a chance on importing more of it. Just like that, a cheese made for a couple of centuries disappears…

Cheese mites are integral to the aging process of Mimolette. (See the latest Culture Magazine for a detailed article about this. I do not believe it is currently online). I understand that cheese mites (and all mites) are allergens (as is milk), but I do not know of any recent studies that show an increase of cheese mite-related allergies involving consumption of cheese or a new environmental review of the affect of the importation of mites, and – so far as I know – the FDA is not giving further explanation of their decision.

(I did, however, find that there is a condition known as “Grocer’s Itch” related to mites in food. Hmmmmm.)

Will other foods and cheeses be affected? (and cheese pros, let’s not give them any suggestions in the comment section in case they read this, ok?) What will happen next is unclear. This is, however, potentially a huge issue.

In remembrance, here is a pictorial retrospective of the life of Mimolette, told in chronological order:

Forming
IMG_1393

I wanted to bob for Mimolette, but was told it was not allowed. Damn HACCP!
IMG_1396

Bowling anyone?
IMG_1397

Getting dusty
IMG_1403

Look at all that mite “dust”!
IMG_1406

It is not easy to stay long in the Mimolette aging room. Ammonia City!
IMG_1404

Extra aged and ready to go:
IMG_1405

11 responses to “Goodbye Mimolette?

  1. Really upsetting. I love the crunch of cheesemites paired with the texture of the paste of the cheese. Mimolette will be missed. 😦

  2. Reblogged this on Wedge in the Round and commented:
    More FDA silliness…

  3. Just not right! Will reblog this on Sassysipsnyc.com asap. Thanks for sharing!

  4. What rotten news. Maybe an American mimic pops up. Maybe we start a petition. The more educated an FDA we have, the better off all smaller-scale cheesemakers are.

  5. Here’s my post about your post: milkmold.blogspot.com

  6. Kind of short-sighted, if not actually blind, on the part of the FDA. Age cheese long enough in a cave and you will get mites. Where do they think the light brown crusty stuff on the outside of a great Gruyere comes from?

    • Well, that’s exactly why so many people are worried about this seizure. Let’s not give the FDA any ideas though.

  7. Great post, thanks for the update. The latest issue of Cheese Connoisseur (spring 2013) also has a detailed article on mites and mimolette.

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