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: