The making of little cheese goes back to the Roman times. It comes from the dry arid pastures that surround Banon in the Haute Provence. It is principally made from goat’s milk. After a period of two weeks allowing the cheese to mature, it is dipped in eau-de-vie and then wrapped in a chestnut leaf. The alcohol protects the cheeses against bad mould and slowly the chestnut leaf aroma influences the cheese’s taste. The farmers of the region eat the cheese by scooping it up with a teaspoon and washing it down with cooled local red or white wine. It has a soft creamy taste, reminiscent of milk, gradually influenced by the aroma of the chestnut leaf. The Banon is an uncooked, unpressed cheese with a fine white (on maturing the pate turns a yellowish colour), soft pate.
White wine: St Joseph (Marsanne, Roussanne grapes) Red wine: Côtes-de-Provence (Grenache, Cinsault grapes)