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Lafayette! Come back and save the mimolette!

My poor, non-French people,

It’s a tragedy, here in les Etats-Unis.
The very serious Agence France Presse, the oldest news agency in the world, sent a wire about it.
Le Parisien, Le Figaro, Ouest France, all very serious newspapers, wrote stories…
Even TF1, the main French network (for which I used to be a reporter when I was in France) shares the big news on its website.

The mimolette can’t be bought in the US anymore.

Yes, you read me well.
La mimolette, la boule de Lille, this great, round, orange cheese made in the North of France, is not welcome anymore in this great big land of liberty.
What happened?

According to its main importer in the US, Isigny Sainte Mère, 500 kilos of mimolette are beign held by the FDA in New Jersey . Mimolette has been imported for ages in the US, but apparently the FDA doesn’t like the way the cheese is made: the use of cheese mites to age this cow milk cheese would be the problem.

Now what seems strange is that there wasn’t any problem before.
2 tons of mimolette have been imported in the US last year, and the cheese has been made and eaten for centuries without  causing any more damages than a few pounds more on the scale for those who love it too much…



My poor, non French-people, what can I tell you.

I’m sad to hear about that kind of news.

Of course I’m a partisan of good health, and the first to protest against dangers in what we can eat, and be sold.
But really.

What’s a life without mimolette?

I’m not saying it’s a life essential, bien sûr, there are many more important causes worth the fight. Or, as we French say “on va pas en faire un fromage”! (Let’s not make a big cheese out of it!)

But I still am sad, to think that this great country I’ve been living in for three years now, doesn’t want to open its door anymore to this little French culture specimen.
I’m sad to think that my friends’ kids won’t be able to taste it and “cultivate their palate” as my family doctor used to tell my parents to help us kids do.
And I’m sad to see that I, poor French girl lost in LA, will have less and less Frenchy food to eat at my californian table. After the foie gras, la mimolette! Ca va pas?


This all seems even stranger to me, as the mimolette is for me one of the cheese that looks and tastes like most like American cheeses.
I remember the first time I came “to America”, when I was 15. My friend Emily explained me well how cheese was like here: “you have the white one, and the orange one, and that’s it“.

Well mimolette is part of the orange type of cheese.
Like American Cheese, or many Cheddars you can find in the US, it’s a derivative of the good old Edam that has been the pride of the Netherlands for centuries.


Funny enough, mimolette was actually invented  because of another blocade: Louis XIV was banning all imports from the Netherlands, but couldn’t live without its cheese, so he asked that a French version should be made for him.

That’s why one of the nickname of mimolette is “vieux Hollande”, Old Holland, which is even funnier when you know that it’s the name of the newly elected French président, François Hollande.

So anyhow, I don’t know if it will change anything, but I decided to create a facebook page “Save the mimolette“.
Please join us!
And who knows… Some day my kids and your kids will be able to have a big debate over adding American cheese or Mimolette vieille on their organic hormone-free burger.

I don’t know about you, but I would love that!

A bientôt les amis



PS: now you can also share the video!

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10 Comments On This Topic
  1. jeremy posted
    April 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

    j’imagine que pour trouver un roquefort ou un camembert il faut juste ce faire envoyer des colis et croiser les doigts pour que ça passe les douanes, mais c’est étrange pour la mimolette car en effet le gout se rapproche de leurs standards , lors d’une visite chez un ami j’avais trouvé par miracle un brie dans le walmart du coin , mais alors vraiment le brie le plus jeune que j’ai jamais goûté et déjà pour mes hôtes c’était le pire fromage de leur vie ! j’en rigole encore car l’expression sur leurs visages était un grand moment ! courage donc car avec le cheddar et le monterey jack on s’envole pas très haut !

  2. Nadbugs posted
    April 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    There is something strange and dysfunctional about a “food-safety” system that allows regular salmonella episodes in meat, and regular pet-food recalls and bans and even deaths, and this mimolette brouhaha. On va pas en faire un fromage en effet.

  3. james posted
    April 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Perhaps if the mites were Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) the FDA would expedite them through customs. Given that mushrooms, shellfish and nuts can cause allergies and are allowed to be imported it seems a simple adjustment to the label “Product may have cheese mites and/or cheese mite debris on the surface. Some individuals may be allergic.”

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      April 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Exactly! This whole story is pretty crazy. The more I get to know about it, the less I understand it : apparently, there’s no way to calculate the number of mites, and the FDA never publicize the exact problem that prevented the mimolette cheese to be authorized… This whole story makes me so sad! I find it so hard to shop here whithout being scared of what I might buy withhout knowing (GMO, hormons, parabens, you say it…)! I’m very careful in what I eat, and suddenly it feels like beeing a kamikaze for eating cheese!

  4. Paleo Diet posted
    May 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Great Job. Thanks for writing that. I will return again to read more and tell my coworkers about you.

  5. Troir posted
    May 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

    To be honest with you, who cares ?
    We all know that the staters and their FDA do what big buisnesses told them to. So as long as the european and the french in particular fight against the “not properly tested” OGM, against the “not tested at all” pesticides or against the “sugar overloaded” food , the big business lobbyists will make their FDA forbid our products (starting with the infamous milk).
    You cannot force someone out of his ignorance : he has to desire the change to obtain the change, and i’m sorry to break it down for you, but it sure doesn’t look like the staters want to change !!

  6. Andrew posted
    July 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    From a country with GM food that allows livestock to be injected with growth hormones and antibiotics that then screw up the people that eat them…..

  7. Mark Preston posted
    June 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    It was during the Clinton presidency that cheese made from unpasteurized milk came under “attack”. Eventually the idiots in Washington were told that cheese, once aged, has no pathogens harmful to humans.

    As for the rest, it is the idiot State of California that put the only geese rancher out of business because of the lavage. Schwartzenegger signed this stupid senseless law and if peta gets their way, armed-vegetarianized Peta-Rangers will hold butchers, etc. at gun point to prevent violence to their fellow creatures.

  8. nativi posted
    June 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    La mimolette revient ! Les revendications de French and parfait ont été entendues !

    • Cecile Delarue posted
      October 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

      oui c’est la meilleure nouvelle de l année!

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