Banon cheese

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Banon
Banon.JPG
Country of origin France
Region, town Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Banon
Source of milk Goats
Pasteurized No
Texture Soft-ripened
Aging time at least 3 weeks
Certification French AOC 2003, PDO[1]

Banon is a French cheese made in the region around the town of Banon in Provence, south-east France.

Also known as Banon à la feuille, it is an unpasteurized cheese made from goat's milk and is circular in shape, around 7 cm (2.8 in) in diameter and 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in height, and weighing around 100 g. This pungent uncooked, unpressed cheese consists of a fine soft white pâte that is wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia prior to shipping.

The Provençal specialty fromage fort du Mont Ventoux is made by placing a young banon in an earthenware jar. The cheese is then seasoned with salt and pepper, doused in vinegar and eau-de-vie and left in a cool cellar to ferment. The concoction will last for many years becoming increasingly fierce in taste.

History[edit]

Small goat's cheeses have been made in the dry hills of Provence since Roman times. As it is sold today, the cheese was first made by a couple in the village of Puimichel near to the town of Banon in the département of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

Manufacture[edit]

The affinage period lasts for two weeks, following which it is dipped in eau de vie and wrapped in chestnut leaves that have been softened and sterilized by boiling in a mixture of water and vinegar. The cheese is at its best when made between spring and autumn.

Banon was awarded the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) label in 2003.

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