Heroic Cheesemonger Fights FDA Crackdown on French Fromage, Mimolette


Credit: Cheesetique

The process for making mimolette sounds pretty gross. The rind of this French gouda competitor is aerated by tiny cheese mites, which burrow into the skin. When the cheese is ready for market, the mites are removed—mostly. It's tough to get every single one of those little buggers off, which means the cheese poses a minute risk to customer who might be allergic to the mites.

The Food and Drug Administration's solution: Total cheese lockdown:

Since March, several hundred pounds of the bright orange cheese have been held up by US customs because of a warning by the Food and Drug Administration that it contained microscopic cheese mites.

The mites are a critical part of the process to produce mimolette, giving it its distinctive grayish crust.

But Reason's favorite chessemonger, Jill Erber of Alexandria, Virginia's Cheesetique, is fighting back. She's offering Facebook giveaways of free cheese to her saddest followers. In her customer newsletter today, she writes:

Adieu, Mimolette. It's been nice knowing you. And thank you, FDA, for further limiting our ability to choose for ourselves. 

This isn't the first time Erber has fought back on behalf of innocent cheese in the face of overweening state power. Here's what she had to say about a massive tarrif increase on Roquefort as part of a 2009 trade war:

Obviously, Roquefort is a TEENY TINY portion of imported food in the US, so why pick on this poor little cheese and, by association, the 600-person town of Roquefort? It's called symbolism, my friends. Roquefort, like foie gras and truffles, simply says, "France".

Why do I focus today on this seemingly insignificant example of protectionism at it worst when there are such large-scale issues to consider in our tumultuous time? For that reason exactly. There are so many huge examples of economic policies gone awry, totaling billions and trillions of dollars, and for that very reason, I point out this easily identifiable, but no less extreme violation of the American ways of free choice and trade.

Reason's own Baylen Linnekin has chronicled the battle over mimolette here

And check out this video of Erber made during the Roquefort controversy:

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  1. If you’re allergic to mites, why would you eat mite cheese? Because it would be X-TREME, that’s why.

  2. “Since March, several hundred pounds of the bright orange cheese have been held up by US customs because of a warning by the Food and Drug Administration that it contained microscopic cheese mites.”

    Why do they hate protein?

    1. They should hold up shipments of Bibles, what with all their widow’s mites.

  3. Why does anyone *need* cheese?

  4. You know, today I was thinking about Jose Bove. Don’t ask me why, but it was probably due to my need to punch something in the face. Anyway, I always found it amusing that Bove gets all pissed off about McDonald’s in France, but also recounts with glee how he smuggled Roquefort cheese into America in his suitcase. The fucking idiot just doesn’t get it. The same injustice that prevents him from selling his stinky-ass cheese in America is the same injustice that he commits when he attempts to stop French consumers from willingly purchasing foodstuffs at McDonald’s.

    And he doesn’t even have the balls to come out and plainly say “Food for me, not for thee,” but, instead, wraps it up in some sort of sanctimonious post-modern “food sovereignty” bullshit.

    I hope he dies a slow, painful death from colon cancer.

    1. I’m voting for asphyxiation from an allegic reaction to mimolette mites.

  5. No PM Links? Oh, well:
    SF BoS decides the way to make SF more ‘family friendly’ is to chase out more businesses:
    “Family friendly SF? New measure would pioneer flexible work rules”
    “Employers could deny those requests only if the change would create an “undue hardship” for the company or organization,…”

    1. Reason blogged about this a few days ago.

      1. Ooops.
        Gotta quite working and start watching.

    2. If SugarFree wants to be more family freindly, that’s between him and the Kentucky state parole board.

  6. It’s a bit “mitey”.

    Oh, I like it mitey.

    It’s very mitey actually.

    No matter! Fetch hither the frommage mimolette!

    I think it’s a bit miter than you’d like.

    I don’t care how fucking mitey it is, hand it over at all speed.

  7. As long as they aren’t genetically modified mites.

  8. Come on, how many of the rest of you initially read the headline as “Heroic Cheeseburger…”, as I did?

  9. “I may not agree with eating bug-shit infested cheese, but I will defend to the death your right to eat bug-shit infested cheese.”

    Nathaniel Mimolette

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