March 11, 2008

La Fête du Fromage - Tomme Périgourdine and Mimolette

Textures and colors on both ends of the spectrum this week with an unctuous, milky white Tomme Périgourdine and a dense, pumpkin orange Mimolette.

The Tomme Périgourdine was a wonderful, luscious, creamy goat cheese . It is produced in the stunning Dordogne département by the Ferme du Chèvre Périgourdin whose farm consists of 120 snowy white Saanen goats.

As you can see by the photos, this baby was ripe!
About thirty minutes after I unwrapped it, the outer layer came sliding off into a puddle of oozing fabulousness. It had a very mild aroma and was slightly salty with hints of hazelnut and mushroom. The "goatiness" was not very pronounced, making this an excellent choice for those who are wary of goat cheese. This Tomme was a truly wonderful! It could easily become one of my favorites.
We enjoyed it with a baguette and some red Minervois wine, from just down the street.


This outlandishly colored cheese is Mimolette also called Boule de Lille, a pasteurized cow's milk cheese. The bright tangerine color comes from the annatto seed (anchiote seed), a mild spice which is also used to color the exterior of Langres and Boulette d'Avesnes.
It resembles a Dutch cheese and some say it originated in Holland, but the production of Mimolette is commonly believed to have begun in France in the 17th century when the French minister, Colbert, forbade the import of foreign goods, including cheese. The northerners around Lille began making their own cheese, based on Edam.
This was an aged Mimolette, about 18 months, producing a very brittle, waxy texture. The flavor was very mellow and nutty, similar to a mild Cheddar. It was pretty bland, kind of like the cheese I grew up eating in America. (Other than the Provolone that my grandfather aged in his basement. We called it stinky cheese.) We both decided it would be a good addition to Macaroni and Cheese!

One of the coolest things about Mimolette is the mite eaten exterior. Yes, mites. As in the arachnid. Cheese mites are allowed to nibble the crust to aerate it and help in maturation.
I would avoid eating the rind.

A glass of Riesling, Pinot Gris or a Châteauneuf-du-Pape would nicely compliment Mimolette.

the mite eaten rind

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winedeb said...

All I can say is Ahhhh! Wish I was there! How interesting the orange Mimolette! At first glance it looked like a piece of salmon!

Isn't wonderful how mother nature surprises us every once in awhile! That rainbow photo is lovely!

Danielle said...

Love the goat tomme! I'm glad this one tasted as good as it looks! :)

Anonymous said...

Hold on a moment, you lived in Seattle? Where?

Jennifer said...

winedeb, Glad you liked the rainbow photo. I almost drove off the road when I saw it! So pretty!
The Mimolette is amazing looking. I wish its taste had been as good.

you would have loved it! I'm definitely buying more of that when i see it again

I lived there for 12 years. Went to the UW and stayed 8 years more. I lived on Capitol Hill, Magnolia, Eastlake and owned a home in Ballard.
Where are you?

Anonymous said...

I went to the UW as well! Fancy that. Now I am on the road down to Carkeek Park (just north of greenwood and ballard).

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should clarify that I live close to Carkeek Park.

Jennifer said...

Carkeek Park was one of our favorite places to go! I love the foresty drive down into it. So beautiful!
I miss certain things about Seattle. It is an amazing, beautiful city. And I miss the coffee!!!!

Anonymous said...

oh the coffee! I will miss it indeed. I think I'll have people send me whole beans. Over the weekend, I sat in my fav coffee house on the Ave and wrote. It was awesome. I will love France, but will miss that aspect of Seattle very much.

Jennifer said...

You'll find a great café here to sit in, but the coffee isn't as good.

Make bringing coffee a requirement when people come to visit from Seattle!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Mimolette is a great cheese. We don't usually see it in its mite-eaten ball form around here, though. Are the mites killed off before the cheese is sold?

Jennifer said...

No, the mites aren't killed off. They continue to munch away at the rind, which is why we cut it away!