Picodon de Chèvre is a cheese made from whole goat’s milk. It has a hard rind, that is covered in mould that can be blue, white or yellow. The cheese inside is firm, with a pungent smell. The taste of the cheese is both slightly sour and slightly sweet; and has a goaty smell.
Whey from a previous batch of the cheese is used as the starter culture. The milk is allowed to coagulate, then the curd is gathered and pressed into small round moulds that yield cheeses weighing only about 2 oz (50 g.) The cheeses are 3/4 to 1 inch (1.8 to 2.5 cm) tall.
The cheese is ripened for between 14 and 21 days, though some producers will age even longer.
Picodon de Chèvre achieved its French AOC status in 1983.
There is a syndicate to protect and promote the cheese. It is responsible for inspecting the cheeses made by its members. The headquarters are in Valence, France. Members have to pay dues, plus the syndicate collects royalties from the cheeses sold. Members include those producing the milk, those making the cheese and aging it themselves, those making the cheese but delivering it to someone else for aging, and the agers.
The cheesemakers don’t actually keep the goats themselves; they buy the goat’s milk from others who herd goats in the Ardèche and Drôme regions of France.
Minimum 45% fat
Literature & Lore
Picodon is an old French name (actually, a langue d’oc name), related to the French word “piquer”, meaning sharp.