Mimolette is a cheese traditionally produced around the city of Lille, France (where it is also known as Boule de Lille), and also in some areas of Belgium and the Netherlands, such as Flanders (where it is also known as vieux Hollande).
It was originally made by the request of Louis XIV, who wanted a French cheese to resemble Edam. In order to differentiate it from Edam, however, he had it colored orange.
A cow's-milk cheese, it normally weighs about 2 kg (approximately 4.5 pounds). Its name comes from "mollet". When young its crust is supple, but with age it becomes harder. It has a gray crust and orangish flesh. The orange color comes from the natural colorant, annatto. Due to its appearance, this cheese is often mistaken at first glance for a cantaloupe.
The greyish crust of aged Mimolette is the result of cheese mites intentionally introduced to add flavor by their action on the surface of the cheese.
Mimolette can be consumed at different stages of aging. When younger, its taste resembles that of Parmesan. Most cheese-lovers appreciate it most when "extra-old" (extra-vieille). At that point, it can become rather hard to chew, and the flesh takes a hazelnut-like flavour.