I had high hopes for Mimolette. I had never tasted it before, but I was intrigued by its rich orange color and alleged likeness to aged Gouda, according to the little sign where I bought the cheese. Even my husband, whom I’ve noted before is not a big cheese guy, was excited to try it (mostly based on the Gouda comparison).

Is it a fruit plate or a cheese plate?

Is it a fruit plate or a cheese plate?

Well, let’s put it this way – I was underwhelmed. It turns out that Mimolette, made from cow’s milk, is really more like the Dutch cheese Edam, which is quite mild. Supposedly, aged Mimolette will have a saltier, tangier flavor that its younger version, but I barely tasted any salt or tang. When I was chewing it, it tasted like nothing. After I swallowed it, I got a hint of a caramel flavor, but not enough that it really excited my palate. My husband said, “It pretty much tastes like cheddar,” and in fact, that’s what Steven Jenkins says in his “Cheese Primer.” I believe he said “a mildly smoky two-year cheddar,” but neither of us detected any smokiness.

So, should you try Mimolette? It is pretty cool to try a cheese that looks like a canteloupe, so get a small chunk the next time you’re at the cheese shop. But unless you can only handle very mild cheeses or are serving an extremely unadventurous crowd, I wouldn’t make a permanent place for it on your cheeseboard. As for wine pairings, Mimolette is so mild that it would go with almost anything. Fromages.com recommends a Riesling or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but I wouldn’t bother to make a special trip to the wine shop for this cheese. As long as you steer clear of Manischewitz or cheap White Zinfandel, you’ll be fine.

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