It’s no secret that we here at Foodie Friday really love cheese. What’s not to love? Cheese is delicious, nutritious, and is scientifically proven to make you happy. Yet for those with an intolerance of the potentially pesky protein known as casein, traditional cow’s milk dairy is a no-go. That’s why cheese-loving foodies can turn to other milk-making ruminants for tasty, allergy-friendly products. Today, we consider the charms, characteristics, and cheesy delights of goat cheese.
Goat cheese is versatile and delicious
Gourmet food lovers around the world use goat cheese as a creamy, crumbly component of a broad array of dishes. What’s more, goat’s milk can be used in place of cow’s milk to create many well known cheese varieties traditionally made with cow’s milk. While goat’s milk can’t compete with cow’s milk in terms of stretchiness or firmness in the final product, it substitutes quite well for softer cheeses like brie or feta, and even works for some semi-hard varieties like Cheddar! Although close similarity to cow’s milk cheese isn’t necessary for true goat cheese enthusiasts who praise the artistically rendered cheeses with almost reverent language (see this Serious Eats article for one such homage to these celebrated goat cheeses).
The flavor profile of many goat cheeses is tangy and creamy, like a more intense cream cheese or citrus-tart version of other fresh cow’s milk cheeses. Because of the typical tang you may encounter when sampling goat cheeses, some people think they don’t like goat cheeses across the board. That’s why one enterprising company—Funny Farm—is working to re-brand goat cheese for the goat-dairy skeptics out there. In their words, they’re “taking the goat out of goat cheese” by producing cow’s-milk-like offerings (mac & cheese, cheese popcorn, and frozen pizza among other favorites) that don’t have as much of the strong goat cheese flavor many consumers expect.
Check out this article and video all about how Funny Farm is re-branding goat cheese for the skeptical consumer.
Goat cheese is easier to digest and can be better for people with traditional-dairy allergies
As mentioned in the beginning of this blog entry, casein is a common troublemaker for many people who eat regular cow’s milk dairy. Like whey, casein is a protein found in milk, and cheese in particular is chock-full of it. Goat’s milk has lower levels of both casein and lactose, making it a viable option for many people who struggle to properly digest cow’s milk and traditional dairy products.
As an aside, there is good news on the horizon for those who have casein issues but can’t quit the cow-sourced goods altogether: A company in New Zealand has developed technology that identifies the non-reactive form of casein (A2), helping inform customers which dairy products will or won’t cause them to have an allergic reaction. The company is expanding the technology into Australia and the US with plans to expand to Asia soon.
Whether you’re putting together a showstopping cheese plate, whipping up a tray of appetizers, or looking to switch out your usual cow’s milk cheese for its tangy and delicious dairy relative, try some goat cheese this weekend!
Happy Foodie Friday!
And, of course, for something a little weird…
While goat’s milk cheese might be good for your dietary health, our furry friends also lend a hand in helping folks pursue an innovative style of exercise. Inspired by the infectious cuteness of baby goats, one woman started goat yoga as a way to spread positivity and wellbeing. Check out the video below to see these little farm yogis in action!
**Please note that we here at Foodie Friday aren’t doctors or dietitians. Please consult with a health professional before changing your diet!