Back in December of last year, I wrote a post about Mimolette (http://shootinthebries.blogspot.com/2012/12/mites-and-mimolette.html). Since then, Mimolette has been banned from importation into the U.S. by the FDA. This is quite unfortunate as it is an amazing cheese, but here we are. If you're like me and missing your Mimolette, there is another cheese that is quite similar in flavor and appearance. I'm specifically drawn to these cheeses during the month of October due to the fact that they are bright orange - perfect for Halloween! The cheese I am going to talk about today is the Pave du Nord.
Cheese: Pave du Nord
Affineur: Hervé Mons
Country of origin: France
Milk: Raw cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)
The folks at the cheese couter at Whole Foods Market in Los Altos got a little creative and put some fun Halloween stickers on the cuts of Pave du Nord. I thought they were really cute, so I had to take a picture...
If you take a close look at the larger piece of cheese underneath these cuts, that is actually a whole brick of Pave du Nord. This cheese gets its name from it's similarity in looks to the classic French cobblestones. Can you see it?
Another similarity that this cheese has to Mimolette is the fact that cheese mites are used in the development of this cheese. You can see that the rind on the cheese pictured above look a little like sand paper. This is due to the fact that there are little tiny bugs eating away at the rind and helping product flavor. You can scrape of some of this rind and if you leave it on the table for a bit, the pile of dust from the rind has a tendency to move... spooky right? As for the bright orange paste, annatto is used as a natural coloring agent.
All that being said, the Pave du Nord is quite a tasty cheese. It is not as firm as the Mimolette, but still takes some muscle to cut into. The paste is really smooth and would definitely be great for melting or broiling. Aroma-wise, this cheese has a nice, nutty aroma that reminds me of Cheddar. It is a little salty at the beginning, but as it warms up in your mouth, you experience the rich, earthy, nuttiness of this cheese. I do think that it has a bit more flavor and personality than the Mimolette due to the fact that raw milk is used.
If you're looking for a fun cheese to put on your Halloween cheese plate, swing on by your local Whole Foods cheese counter and try some! The Pave du Nord is on sale for the month of October, so it's a perfect opportunity to grab a piece.
I hope you all are having a wonderful October so far! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!!