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Goat's milk - pasteurised for factory-made, unpasteurised for farmhouse-produced.


Fat content:




Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. In its simplest form, goat cheese is made by allowing raw milk to naturally curdle, and then draining and pressing the curds. Other techniques use an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) or rennet to coagulate the milk. Soft goat cheeses are made in kitchens all over the world, with cooks hanging bundles of cheesecloth filled with curds in the warm kitchen for several days to drain and cure. If the cheese is to be aged, it is often brined so it will form a rind, and then stored in a cool cheese cave for several months to cure.



Although cow's milk and goat's milk have similar overall fat contents, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids such as caproic, caprylic and capric acid in goat's milk contributes to the characteristic tart flavor of goat's milk cheese. (These fatty acids take their name from the Latin for goat, capra.) Recent studies showed cheese made from goat milk has more protein than cheese made from cow milk.

When chèvre is served hot, it is known as chèvre chaud. It is "kidney friendly" and suitable for those with chronic kidney disease, as it is very low in potassium, but caution is needed because of its phosphate content. Goat milk is often used by those who are young, are ill, or have a low tolerance to cows' milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese, especially in the case of the heavily brined Greek feta.


Related Cheeses

Chevrette; Polder blanch; Banon; Cabrales; Caciotta; Greek Feta, Gbejniet; Halloumi; Greek Kefalotyri.


Appropriate Wines

Sauvignon blanc; Sancerre


Bottom line

French fermier (artisanal) goats cheeses have a strong "goaty" taste with complex layers of earthy and sometimes strong flavors.  Factory made chevres range from mild to strong. The Maltese Gbejna is a typical example of artisanal goat's milk cheese.