Picodon cheese is a goat’s milk cheese coming from the Ardèche and Drome area, in the Rhône valley region, and has benefitted from Protected Designation of Origin status since 1983. Picodon, whose name comes from the local Occitan language and means “spicy,” is a creamy, full flavored cheese that has been described as slightly sour, then sweet. The tastes become increasingly pungent with age.
The cheese has a long history connecting it to its place of origin, dating back all the way to the 14th century. The traditional method of production has been perfected over time by its local producers. These artisanal methods of production are still respected to this day. Picodon cheese is made with whole raw goat’s milk, which is mixed with a very small quantity of rennet. Then, it is delicately molded with a ladle. Then the cheeses are dried and ripened over a minimum of 8 days. Twelve days after curdling, the cheese takes the name Picodon and can be tasted immediately.
There are two style of the cheese available: Classic, with a white or blueish crust, and another, called “Dieulefit method” with a longer ripening period that lasts about a month.
Picodon is traditionally eaten as a dessert cheese after a meal, and can be accompanied with red or dry white wines from its native Rhône wine-producing region.