Banon is a soft, almost runny cheese that matures without a rind forming on it.
Depending on the Banon, it is made with milk from goats, goats and cows, or occasionally just cows’s milk. Sometimes any combination of the above can have sheep’s milk added as well.
Some describe the taste as mild, but it depends on the one you get and how long it has been aged. The taste is like something between bacon and hay; generally sharp, pungent and sometimes acrid. If you don’t like goat’s cheese, Banon can taste very goaty.
Production of Banon cheese
To make Banon cheese, curds are formed from the milk, then pressed into small wheels, salted and let mature for about a week, then wrapped in chestnut leaves that have been soaked first in brandy, then tied up with raffia twine to form parcels about 8 cm wide (≈ 3 inches). The leaves prevent a rind from forming on the cheese. The tannin on the leaves often dyes the outside of the cheese brown. If any blue mould forms under the leaves, that mould is edible.
Some types of Banon are aged for a few weeks, others are matured for a few months.
It is made in France in the region around the village of Banon. To be called Banon cheese, it must be made in an area which comprises 31 “cantons” and 179 towns in 4 départements: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Vaucluse, and Drôme. Accessed September 2022 at http://www.aoc-banon.com/en/carte.html
An American version called “O’Banon” has been made by the Capriole company in Indiana since 1988. ”First produced in 1988, O’Banon was one of the first cheeses in the Capriole line.” O’Banon. Accessed September 2022 at https://culturecheesemag.com/cheese-library/OBanon
Use Banon up not too long after purchase, as with further aging it can develop an “ammonia” scent that will shoot up your nasal passages.
Banon cheese originated in Provence, France.
The cheese received its French AOC on 23 July 2003. Accessed September 2022 at http://www.aoc-banon.com/en/presentation.html
|↑1||Accessed September 2022 at http://www.aoc-banon.com/en/carte.html|
|↑2||”First produced in 1988, O’Banon was one of the first cheeses in the Capriole line.” O’Banon. Accessed September 2022 at https://culturecheesemag.com/cheese-library/OBanon|
|↑3||Accessed September 2022 at http://www.aoc-banon.com/en/presentation.html|