The balmy Mediterranean climate of Provence makes it one of France’s best culinary regions. And its cheeses are no exception.
While Provence is justly celebrated for its seafood, its tomatoes, and its richly verdant produce (not to mention its tart-sweet summer rosé!), fewer people know that it’s equally a powerhouse when it comes to cheese production.
Elsewhere in France, cheeses are traditionally made with cow’s milk, but the best Provence cheeses are chèvre: goat's cheese. Runny and milky or sweet and creamy, Provençal chèvre is accessible to cheese novices and fromage connoisseurs alike.
Try the Banon – a preserved goat cheese pickled by being wrapped in chestnut leaves, dried, and soaked and heated in local alcohol – or head to the grittily bustling port of Marseilles to try the Brousse du Rove – believed to date back to an ancient Greek shipwreck, which brought Greek goats to mate with Gallic ones to produce the perfect cheese-producing animal.
Paired with fresh Provençal fruit – juicy peaches, sensual figs – it’s the perfect dessert. Or even – if you’re feeling decadent – an entire meal.
Lastly, make sure to get your hands on cheese from the Picodon region, which was granted special AOC status in 1983 – it's considered the crème de la crème.
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