Who’s the fairest of them all? The Snow White of cheeses, this dairy product boasts not only glowing good looks, but remarkable range and a characteristic tartness that sets it apart from its cow-made counterparts (cow-nterparts, if you will). Learn why many parts of the world consider goat cheese the only kind worth eating.
Way Ahead of the Trend
Americans sometimes baulk at the words “goat cheese” without even trying it. The US relies mainly on cow cheese, so the idea seems strange to us. Actually, goat milk significantly predates cow milk and is still the most prominent dairy product in many parts of the world.
Goat milk has similar nutritional benefits to cow milk and produces an equally wide variety of cheeses. It can be handled pretty much the same way you handle cow cheese, both in cooking and storing.
So What’s the Difference?
The unique set of fatty acids in goat milk give it a tartness and earthiness you won’t detect in cow milk. This flavor can require some getting used to for the uninitiated, but most foodies will agree that these qualities add depth and complexity to goat cheeses.
Alright, here comes some science talk. Goat milk contains smaller individual fat globules than cow milk does, which makes it easier to digest (picture evenly stirring chocolate chips into cookie batter versus trying to stir in a whole block of chocolate). People with sensitive stomachs, including young children and seniors, tend to find that they feel better after eating goat cheese as compared to cow cheese.
Goat cheese also contains less lactose, so people who are unable to digest cow’s milk are often able to each goat milk products without a problem.
Goats are more flexible in terms of the terrain they can handle and the greens they’ll eat. They require less water than cows do, take up less space, and are easier to transport. This gives goats the edge on cows in arid, rocky, and/or hilly regions where cows would not be so happy (consider Peru, Switzerland, or Nubia). Goats also more helpful than cows–they are often put to work clearing land of shrubs and small trees and keeping long grasses in check.
Eat It With
… any dish that you love with cow cheese. Crumble it over salad or melt it over pasta. To really savor the particular nuances of goat cheese, slice a log into wedges and serve on a tray with Muscadine grapes and pinot noir. Or be a little indulgent and stick a loaf of goat cheese (the kind with the stiff, white rind) in the oven for a few minutes for a gooey late-night snack. Cheese enthusiasts have even been known to dip these tangy-sweet cheeses in dark chocolate to create the kind of aphrodisiac we can all get behind (seriously, so much yummier than slimy oysters).
Try It Now
Get your goat on this week TWO WAYS when you cook our Bacon Breakfast Flatbread:
or our Artichoke and Tomato Flatbread. Yes, two ways. You’re welcome.