Many goat cheeses, or chevres, are coated with a sprinkle of ash. Originally, the ash often came from oak charcoal, as was the tradition of cheeses from France's Loire Valley. Today, a recognized food grade activated charcoal ash is used which is sometimes salted and generally tasteless. The ash is helpful in mellowing the acidity to promote the affinage and produce a more delectable cheese. It also helps make the cheese surface more hospitable to the growth of molds that add to the complexity of the overall flavor.