Cheese board: all wrapped up
Banon is one of the more attractively packaged cheeses. A soft goat's milk cheese, it's wrapped in chestnut leaves then tied with raffia strands. According to Mons, the fromager affineur ("cheese ager"), banon is a speciality of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur that has appellation d'origine contrôlée certification. It's made from raw goat's milk, curdled with rennet, which is drained, unmoulded and salted, then wrapped in a minimum of four chestnut leaves that have been blanched or dipped in vinegar brine, which cleans them. Banon is available year round, but is considered best from spring to autumn. Fromagers advise serving it with a sharp and fruity Côtes du Rhône wine.