The Mount Lebanon range, traditionally a Maronite stronghold, rises among the last surviving century-old cedars. Here, Baladi goats graze and Darfiyeh, a cheese made with raw goat milk, is still produced. This cheese has distinctive packaging: goatskin (Dariff) is cleaned and salted and then used as casing during the aging process. The goat milk, first filtered, is left to sit for a minimum of 24 hours before adding rennet from a kid and allowing it to solidify at 30-35 degrees Celsius. The curds are worked by hand, first broken into pieces then smashed together and formed into a ball, which is salted and dried and then broken a second time with a knife and left to sit for 12 hours. Arichi, a type of ricotta that is either salted or sweetened, is made by warming up the whey residue. The goatskin is cleaned and salted. The legs are tied with a cord, leaving only the neck open. Inside the body, the cheese and Arichi are arranged in alternating layers. They are aged in humid caves where they harden for a minimum of one month and a maximum of six. Production of the cheese requires the labor of the entire family: the father usually slaughters the goats, while the children tend the herd and the mother produces the cheese. Fresh cheese is often sold at the butcher shop alongside goat meat.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.