Some areas of Ardeche and Drome in the Rhone Vallley might be too dry for wine yet just right for goats to roam.
Without these wandering goats there would be no Picodon cheese which comes in various iterations as Wikipedia piece on Picodon spells out:
"Picodon is made from milk with only a small quantity of rennet added before being poured into small moulds dotted with tiny holes. Lactic protein, frozen curd, and concentrated or powdered milk are all prohibited by regulation. The cheese is twice salted using fine, dry salt. The cheese is left to dry for at least fourteen days, although four weeks is more common."
As for the affinage method Dieulefit which is our main focus today here's what Wikipedia offers:
Cheeses labelled with affinage méthode Dieulefit (after the commune of Dieulefit) indicates that the affinage included hand-washing the surface of the cheese with water, following which the cheese is left to mature in covered earthenware jars for at least a month."
The piece also notes that "Picodon de Dieulefit (40-90g) is sold in both young and mature varieties."
Picodon de Dieulefit also gets its own yearly celebration on the second Sunday of August.
I almost got inducted in the Dieulefit hall of fame for my previous mentions of this goatsy treat. I just could not make it in time to Dieulefit.
Something to consider when I plan my French holidays for 2013.
This article was Sponsored by Picodon AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) Method Dieulefit.
(* Image of Picodon Dieulefit from article on Picodon Dieulefit Festival by Le Progres, Photo DR)