Banon (cheese)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
country FranceFrance France
region Alpes-de Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Drôme, Vaucluse
Type of cheese Raw milk soft cheese
Milk supplier goat
shape wheel
size ø 75–85 mm, height 20–30 mm
bark light yellow under the chestnut leaves
Ripening time 15 days
Nutritional information
Fat content at least 40% FiTr.
Dry matter at least 40%
Legal information
protected term AOP
Ordinance on protection Décret du 26 juillet 2003 relatif à l'appellation d'origine contrôlée «Banon»
Geographical area
... where Banon is made

The Banon is a small French raw milk soft cheese made from goat's milk with a natural rind, which originated from old farm recipes in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence area . Its name comes from the town of Banon , located on the Plateau d'Albion between the Lure and Ventoux mountains .


The round cheese with a pale yellow natural rind is six to eight centimeters in diameter, two to three centimeters high and weighs around 100 grams. It has a creamy, elastic consistency, with a creamy, liquid consistency only after about six weeks when cut.

Its taste is sweet and strong at the same time, according to other statements, earthy, with animal hints, as well as hay and wood notes, another description calls the cheese mild and at the same time intense, reminiscent of mushrooms or forest floor shortly after a rain.


Goat cheese is traditionally made with rennet in Provence. Such cheeses have been known as "cheese from Banon" since the Middle Ages. These earlier cheeses differ from today's protected Banon, however, in the manufacturing process with chestnut leaves. Without this special production, the cheese corresponds to a normal tomme made from goat milk, as it was and is widespread in the area.

The banon is first mentioned in a cookbook from 1886 ("Manuel complet de la cuisinière provençale" (manual for the Provencal cook) by Marius Morard) with the special manufacturing process under this name. In the 19th century, Jules Verne and Frédéric Mistral were known as banon lovers.

Farming families initially only produced the cheese for their own use. The cheese arose from the need to preserve a protein supplier for the winter. For this purpose the farmers wrapped their cheeses in chestnut leaves . As a result, the cheese remained soft and easy to eat in winter when there was no fresh goat's milk. The quick curdling with rennet was the only way to produce a soft and mild cheese in the hot and dry climate. Excess cheese was traded in the area's markets, such as the Banon Cheese Fair.

After the Second World War, Banon began production for sale only. This went hand in hand with a specialization of goat herds and technical advances in cheese production.

In the past, the banon was also made from cow's milk. However, this production has now been completely discontinued.

In May, the village of Banon hosts a goat cheese festival to restore the cheese to its best.


Herd of goats at Simiane-la-Rotonde

To make Banon, goat's milk is quickly thickened with rennet , so it is a sweet milk cheese. It must be milk of the goat breeds Provençales , Roves , Alpines or their crossbreeds (other breeds were also permitted before 2014), the herds must be kept in the protected area of ​​origin and graze on at least 210 days a year.

The curd is hand-scooped into molds, in which it drains for 24-48 hours. Meanwhile, the loaves are turned over and over again. Then the fresh cheese wheels are removed from the molds and immersed in brine for a few minutes.

The cheeses ripen for at least 15 days, of which at least 10 days are wrapped in chestnut leaves .

In autumn, seasonal workers collect the brown chestnut leaves on the Plateau d'Albion, in the Cevennes , Corsica and Ardèche . The brown leaves contain less tannin than the green leaves and make for a milder taste. The cheese dairy "La Fromagerie de Banon", which produces 60% of all banons, needs 5 million leaves per year alone, which corresponds to about 5 truckloads. Each cheese is wrapped in five to eight sheets, which are previously soaked in boiling water or vinegar water and smoothed out.

The chestnut leaves with which the cheese is wrapped are fastened by hand with bast bands that cross each other three to six times . The protection from air and light ensures that the cheese has a creamy and soft consistency and that the characteristic aroma of the cheese develops through the reaction with the tannins of the chestnut leaves. The cheese is ready to eat after 15 days at the earliest.

Leaves of the sweet chestnut

Appellation d'Origine Protegée (AOP)

The Banon cheese factory

On July 23, 2003, the INAO approved the protection of the banon through an AOP .

Due to the AOP, the production of the banon is subject to strict requirements. The 179 banon-producing communities are located in a low mountain range with a Mediterranean climate , characterized by characteristic vegetation. “The goats find ideal conditions there to grow up. In order to make a cheese with the appellation Banon, the goat herds have to eat in the limited zone, which corresponds to traditional pasture management and the production of the product. The cheese is made from raw milk from the Provençale, Rove and Alpine goat breeds . ”The goats have to graze on the hills for at least 210 days a year. "Made exclusively from goat's milk, it develops a golden brown color and a creamy consistency that preserves the flavor of the goats running through the forests of Haute-Provence."

In addition to milk production, manufacture and affinage must also take place in the area of ​​the appellation. The production volume is therefore small, which means that the cheese of this appellation is rare. There are 16 farms and two craft businesses that produce 68 tons of cheese. The two craft businesses are supplied by 10 milk producers. The Fromagerie de Banon puts 50 tons on the market every year. That is poor to satisfy the current demand and too little for the planned expansion of the already existing demand from England , Germany , Italy and Japan .

Territory of the appellation

The Banon was the first cheese from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region to receive an AOC. received. The recognition went to 111 communes from Alpes-de-Haute-Provence , 33 communes from Hautes-Alpes , 21 communes from Drôme and 14 communes from Vaucluse , a total of 179 communes for the production of milk and cheese.

Communes in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department

Aiglun , Allemagne-en-Provence , Archail , Aubenas-les-Alpes , Aubignosc , Banon , Barras , Beaujeu , Bevons , Beynes , Bras-d'Asse , Brunet , Céreste , Champtercier , Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban , Châteaufort , Châteauneuf-Miravail , Châteauneuf-Val-Saint-Donat , Châteauredon , Clamensane , Cruis , Curel , Dauphin , Digne , Draix , Entrepierres , Entrevennes , Esparron-de-Verdon , Estoublon , Fontienne , Forcalquier , Ganagobie , Gréoux-les-Bains , Hautes-Duyes , La Brillanne , La Javie , La Motte-du-Caire , Lardiers , La Rochegiron , Le Brusquet , Le Castellard-Mélan , Le Castellet , Le Chaffaut-Saint-Jurson , L'Escale , Les Mées , Les Omergues , L'Hospitalet , Limans , Lurs , Malijai , Mallefougasse-Augès , Mallemoisson , Mane , Manosque , Marcoux , Mézel , Mirabeau , Montagnac-Montpezat , Montfort , Montfuron , Montjustin , Montlaux , Montsalier , Moustiers-Sainte-Marie , Nibles , Niozelles , Noyers-sur-Jabron , Ongles , Oppedette , Oraison , Peipin , Peyruis , Pierrerue , Pierrever t , Puimichel , Puimoisson , Quinson , Redortiers , Reillanne , Revest-des-Brousses , Revest-du-Bion , Revest-Saint-Martin , Riez , Roumoules , Sainte-Croix-à-Lauze , Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon , Saint-Étienne-les-Orgues , Saint-Jeannet , Saint-Julien-d'Asse , Saint-Jurs , Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon , Saint-Maime , Saint-Martin-de-Brômes , Saint-Martin-les- Eaux , Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire , Saint-Vincent-sur-Jabron , Salignac , Saumane , Sigonce , Simiane-la-Rotonde , Sisteron , Sourribes , Thoard , Vachères , Valbelle , Valernes , Valensole , Villemus , Villeneuve , Volonne , Volx .

Communes in the Hautes-Alpes department

Barret-sur-Méouge , Bruis , Chanousse , Châteauneuf-de-Chabre , Éourres , Étoile-Saint-Cyrice , Eyguians , Lagrand , La Piarre , Laragne-Montéglin , Le Bersac , L'Épine , Méreuil , Montclus , Montjay , Montmorin , Montrond , Moydans , Nossage-et-Bénévent , Orpierre , Ribeyret , Rosans , Saint-André-de-Rosans , Sainte-Colombe , Sainte-Marie , Saint-Genis , Saint-Pierre-Avez , Saléon , Salérans , Serres , Sigottier , Sorbiers , Trescléoux .

Municipalities in the Drôme department

Aulan , Ballons , Barret-de-Lioure , Eygalayes , Ferrassières , Izon-la-Bruisse , Laborel , Lachau , La Rochette-du-Buis , Mévouillon , Montauban-sur-l'Ouvèze , Montbrun-les-Bains , Montfroc , Montguers , Reilhanette , Rioms , Saint-Auban-sur-l'Ouvèze , Séderon , Vers-sur-Méouge , Villebois-les-Pins , Villefranche-le-Château .

Municipalities in the Vaucluse department

Aurel , Auribeau , Buoux , Castellet-en-Luberon , Gignac , Lagarde-d'Apt , Monieux , Saignon , Saint-Christol , Saint-Martin-de-Castillon , Saint-Trinit , Sault , Sivergues , Viens .


The cheese tastes excellent on a slice of country bread, accompanied by cherry or fig jam. A white wine from the Côtes du Rhône , the Ventoux or the Luberon is popular with this . The cheese can be consumed all year round.


  • JM Mariotini: A la Recherche d'un fromage: le Banon éléments d'histoire et d'ethnologie. Alpes de Lumière, 1992.
  • Bernard Teyssandier: Connaître les fromages de France. Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot, 1994.
  • Jean Froc: Balade au pays des fromages. Editions Quae, 2007.
  • Jean-Charles Karmann: Tout fromage. Editions Minerva, 2007.

Web links

Commons : Banon (cheese)  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Décret du 26 juillet 2003 relatif à l'appellation d'origine contrôlée “Banon” on
  2. a b c d e f g h EU Commission: Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1211/2013. (PDF) November 25, 2013, accessed November 25, 2018 .
  3. ^ A b Edward Behr: The Oxford companion to cheese . Ed .: Donnelly, Catherine W. 2017, ISBN 978-0-19-933091-1 , pp. 105, 106 (English).
  4. a b c d e Susan Herrmann Loomis: The Oxford companion to cheese . Ed .: Donnelly, Catherine W :. 2017, ISBN 978-0-19-933091-1 , pp. 59 (English).
  5. The real Banon cheese - An AOC label goat's milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves made in French Provence. Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
  6. The real Banon cheese - An AOC label goat's milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves made in French Provence. Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
  7. a b c d Le banon ( Memento from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) on
  8. ^ "Fête du fromage de Banon" on, January 5th, 2015, accessed on January 5th, 2015. (French)
  9. The real Banon cheese - An AOC label goat's milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves made in French Provence. Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
  10. Official website of the Banon AOC
  11. Fromage de Banon au Pays de Montbrun les Bains on
  12. "B" on, accessed on 12 September, 2009.