You may be familiar with cheese that comes from cow’s milk. Cheesemakers can use milk from other animals, too, including goats. What does goat cheese taste like?
Goat cheese is a great ingredient to use in cooking due to its versatility. Its smooth texture makes it easy to melt when heated, making it perfect for adding to salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and more. This article will discuss everything about goat cheese, it’s flavor, and its uses.
Goat cheese is basically cheese made from goat’s milk. In France, people call it chèvre, the French word for “goat.”
Compared to cow’s cheese, goat cheeses have a more intense taste and aroma. After all, goat milk has a different composition than cow’s milk. It is usually thicker and creamier.
Goat milk is also more stomach-friendly than cow’s milk due to its smaller fat globules. That said, they’re worth a try for people with dietary restrictions. This is especially true for those with diets that prevent them from eating cow’s milk cheese.
Cheese from goat’s milk is softer, even crumbly sometimes. You’ll often see goat cheese as logs, but they also come in tubs.
Goat milk cheese costs more than cow milk cheese. This is because cows can produce milk all year round. Meanwhile, goats only make milk during their limited breeding season.
Plus, they produce significantly less milk than cows. Of course, you’ll only get a portion from that small milk supply, as most of it is for feeding the goats’ kids.
This limits the milk available for cheesemaking, resulting in a higher price.
There are many types of goat cheese; you can call any cheese made from goat’s milk goat cheese. But we can divide it into four groups.
As the name implies, young goat cheese is fresh cheese. Cheesemakers age them for just a few days. This is why young chèvre is soft and spreadable. Plus, they did not have enough time to develop a rind, so they’re rindless. You can find logs of this moist goat cheese in stores, which often have herbs as a flavoring.
Pyramide is a goat cheese that cheesemakers leave to age for about ten days. The rind is rolled with charcoal ash, so it has a characteristic blue-gray hue. It is drier and crumblier than fresh chèvre and goes by the name Valençay. Pyramide got its name because its shape is like a flat-top pyramid.
The makers of bûcheron age it for up to ten weeks. It usually comes shaped like a log and with a bloomy rind. The rind of this goat cheese is edible, but the creamy and silky center takes the cake. You can buy the whole log, but most stores sell it per slice as rounds.
Versions of famous cheeses that use goat’s milk instead of the usual sheep’s milk or cow’s milk are also chèvre. Examples of these include Brie and Gouda.
Generally, goat cheese has a tangy and tart flavor, especially compared to cow’s milk cheese. It has distinct earthy and grassy notes that will tell you that it’s not cow’s milk cheese you’re having.
The taste of goat cheese is unique and changes as it ages.
Young or fresh chèvre does not taste as intense as its aged counterparts. It can have sweet buttery notes and has a noticeable tang and tartness. Aged chèvre has a robust and sharp taste as aging amplifies the goat cheese flavor.
The aged varieties can be overwhelming for some. So, if you’re having second thoughts about trying goat cheese, it is best to start eating fresh ones.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that some people describe chèvre’s taste as goaty and pungent. This may be true, especially if they tasted low-quality goat cheese. Ultimately, the quality of the milk affects the flavor of the cheese.
Cheesemakers have to get the best-tasting goat milk to produce high-quality cheese. To do this, they keep male and female goats apart during the breeding season. As it turns out, male goats have hormones that can affect the taste of the female’s milk. These hormones make the milk taste goaty, affecting the cheese’s flavor.
While goat cheese’s taste is special, several other kinds of cheese come close to its taste. For instance, people often compare the flavor and aroma of blue cheese to chèvre.
Feta cheese is also a strong contender with its tangy and salty notes.
Cotija cheese has a similar intense taste that many people say is bold. It differs in texture but can substitute goat cheese in most recipes.
Lastly, even with mozzarella’s stringy nature, people also use it to replace goat cheese.
Goat cheese has a smooth texture that melts easily when heated and is great for adding to salads, pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. It’s also great for baking into desserts like cheesecakes or tarts. Additionally, it can be used to make various types of cheese spreads and dips.
Here are some ideas for pairing goat cheese with other ingredients.
The tangy flavor of goat cheese complements fresh fruits. Try eating it with apples, pears, and peaches. You’ll also never go wrong if you serve goat cheese with oranges, apricots, and cherries.
Surprisingly, goat cheese tastes good when you pair it with honey. This combination is perfect for a crumbly toast!
Goat cheese also complements the flavor of artichokes, spinach, radish, and arugula. Lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, and cucumbers are excellent pairs for this tart cheese.
Nuts and goat cheese also make a great combination. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are top pairing choices.
The robust taste of chèvre can also blend well with meats. Add this cheese to dishes with beef, chicken, and veal. Goat cheese will also not take a backseat to gamey meats like lamb, venison, and duck. Cured meats like bacon and salami are also good options.
Of course, goat cheese also has wine pairings like any other cheese. Eat it alongside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Franc for a treat. If any of these is unavailable, Chardonnay will do, but it’s best paired with aged chèvre.
Chèvre is a versatile cheese that blends well with lots of other flavors. You can use it anywhere where you would use cow’s cheese.
This yummy cheese is a good addition to a cheese platter or charcuterie board. For a quick breakfast meal, add goat cheese to your omelet recipe.
You may also combine it with bread crumbs to make goat cheese balls for a delectable snack or appetizer.
Melt it to make a delectable dip, or use it as a pizza topping. Goat cheese also makes an excellent filling for a savory quiche. And since they go well with vegetables, you can also add them to a green salad dish.
Lastly, chèvre tastes good in sweet baked goods and desserts. Because of its consistency, you can whip it together with cream cheese to make a frosting. And yes, you can make cheesecake and mousse using goat cheese.
Yes, feta tastes similar to goat cheese in many ways. After all, cheesemakers sometimes make feta using a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk. Feta has flavor notes that are also present in chèvre since it is from goat’s milk.
Yes, goat cheese has a very similar flavor profile to mozzarella. That said, you can use chèvre in recipes where the stringy texture of mozzarella is insignificant.
Yes, goat cheese does melt, but not, in the same way, cow cheese does. When you heat goat cheese, it becomes runny instead of turning into a cheese puddle.
Yes, you can freeze goat cheese. To freeze goat cheese properly, encase it in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Doing so will keep its moisture and flavor intact for at least six months.
Unlike regular cheese, goat cheese or chèvre comes from fresh goat milk. It’s a versatile and handy cheese because you can add it to sweet and savory dishes. You can even add it to baked goods.
So what does goat cheese taste like? Like goat’s milk, it tastes tangy, earthy, and tart.
Note that as goat cheese ages, its flavor intensifies. So, young goat cheese will have a milder taste than aged varieties. For reference, goat cheese shares a similar taste to mozzarella. It’s just that mozzarella is a bit saltier.