Goat’s milk cheese is the easiest out of all three (goat’s, cow’s, and sheep’s milk) types of milk for humans to digest. This is because the fat globules are the smallest in goat’s milk, because goat’s milk contains almost no casein, which is the main protein allergen that is in cow’s milk.
Similarly to sheep’s milk, goat’s milk is not produced year round, because the goats usually graze in the pasture, which is not available year round. When the pasture comes in during the spring months is when goats begin to produce milk. The difference in the pastures and the areas in which the goats feed, also known as terroir, give the cheeses different characteristics. Pasteurization, however, tends to homogenize the finished products, making them less distinctive than their unpasteurized counterparts.
When we think of goat’s milk cheese we usually think of the soft, crumbly cheese that is sold at basically every grocery store. You can actually have goat’s milk cheese in as many different textures as cow’s milk. Those harder cheeses are produced from cooked curds, most often. The cooking of the curds is not hot enough to pasteurize the milk, so if it is made from raw milk it would still be considered raw. essentially the cooking removes more of the excess moisture from the curds, allowing them to be made into harder cheeses.
Arraya Citron- very citrusy, has a bit of a tang
Ameixa D’Elvas- figs
Queijo De Figo- a harder, more patty-like fig concoction with chocolate.
Olof Victor Green Tomato Marm- sweet green tomatoes, very fresh tasting
2015 Foucher Petite Le Mont Sauvignon- Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, it is fairly light and acidic with subtle citrus notes.
Vin de Savoie Rose 2015 Eugene Carrel- A very pink Rose, it has a very fruity nose and is not super dry. There are notes of strawberries and other red berries.
- Valency Loire Vally, France (pasteurized)- This is a young cheese, covered with ashes on the rind so you get a kind of gritty texture from the outside. At about 5-6 weeks old the cheese is vacuum sealed. It is very smooth in flavor, it is a bit yogurty and curdy in texture. You can taste the curds and it coats the inside of the mouth.
- Condiments- The citron was very good, the citrusy flavors kind of cut the mouth coating feeling. The cheese was also really good with the the green tomato.
- Wine- The Sauvignon blanc cleanses the palate from the creaminess of the cheese.
- Valencay Affine Loire Valley France (pasteurized)- This cheese is made with the same milk as the previous one, but it is harder and more chewy. The flavor is not as immediate as the first one, but it lingers longer on the palate. There is also more variation in flavor from the inside to the rind.
- Condiments- The citron gives a weird aftertaste, but the tomatoes go very well with it. I liked it best with the figs.
- Wine- The Sauvignon Blanc is good, but a bit overpowering for the flavor of the cheese.
- Chabichou du Poitu (pasteurized)- The rind is very different than inside of the cheese. It really sticks to palate and is very creamy close to the rind. The inside has a more stiff texture. Like the first one this cheese coats the mouth, and there is more variation in texture than flavor
- Condiments- It’s good with citron, and good with tomatoes, but the figs are the best.
- Wine- The dryness and acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc really cuts through the mouth coating creaminess of the cheese.
- Mothais Feuille Poitu France (pasteurized)- This cheese comes with a chestnut leaf mostly for aesthetic purposes. It is creamy but more drying to the mouth, similar yogurty/curdy texture as the first one, but very milky in flavor.
- Condiments- The citron weird after taste with this one too (maybe just because I have allergies), the tomatoes were very good, and so were the figs
- Wine- The Sauvignon Blanc is slightly overpowering for the flavor but still quite good.
- Rabiola Incavolata Pidemont Italy (raw milk)- This one was wrapped in cabbage which somehow still managed to stay very green and fresh. The cheese itself is very creamy and milky. It has a bit of goaty flavor, but not in a bad way, it’s my favorite so far.
- Condiments- This cheese was so good with the tomatoes! Also very good with the figs.
- Wine- The Rose has a delicious acidity that cuts right through the cream, the flavor is a bit stronger, too. The white also does very well.
- Robiola Roccaverano DOP Pidemont Italy (raw milk)- From a little town in Asti, close to the border. There is a terroir of the goats that are all from right there, which a DOP cheese (kind of like wine). This one has some blueing, the curdy texture like cheese 1 is there, but it is a bit more milky. It is delicious, kind of sour and bitter
- Condiments- It is good with the citron because of the bitterness, and great with the tomatoes.
- Wine- The Rose has a hint of sweetness that goes well with this slightly lighter flavored cheese.
- Cevrin al Pepe Pidemont Italy (raw milk)- Creamy, with a less curdy texture, but milky flavor with a bit of goat. There is a slight hint of blue cheese flavors in there, too. It has an interesting rind.
- Condiments- The citron was too bitter, but the tomatoes are great and the figs are good
- Wine- The Rose is good with it, but a bit overpowering.
- Aurelie Antwerpen, Belgium (raw milk)- This cheese was a treat, the real deal! Like cream, it has an almost sour flavor, it is very creamy and smooth. The flavor is more punctuated with peaks and valleys. Like a good wine it is very complex.
- Condiments- This one was best with the tomatoes and figs.
- Wine- I loved it with the Rose.
- Sillon Bleu, Jura France (pasteurized)- This cheese looks a bit like it has some blue in it (and it’s name would allude to that also) but it is actually not bluing, it is ash. The top is morning milk from the goats, then there is the ash, and the bottom is evening milk. It has more of a soft swiss texture but more melty, and is even similar in taste.
- Condiments- I did not like it at all with the citron. It was delicious with tomatoes, good with figs really good with the chocolate fig patty.
- Wine- Fantastic with the Rose.
- Chèvre du Haut Bearn Fermier, Pyrenees France (raw milk)- This one has a similar texture to cheese 9, but a more pungent flavor. There is more of a yeasty texture here
- Condiments- The tomatoes were the best, the rest aren’t even worth mentioning.
- Wine – I feel like the Rose was very good with everything.
- Persille de Tignes Fermier, Haute Savuie France (raw milk)- This one has a “solid but not really” (quoting one of my classmates here) texture. There is a lingering bitterness. It is very different and weird texture almost like a paste, and isvery pungent. I would consider this cheese hefty, “fireplace cheese”, a complicated cheese.
- Condiments- I like the tomato with everything, it’s also good with the figs.
- Wine- As always, very good with the Rose, the bitterness of cheese and sweetness of wine are good.
- Monte Enebro, Avila Spain (pasteurized)- This cheese felt like it was clearing out my nasal passage (in a similar way to how wasabi does). The rind is where it is at, it was really good and gave this weird sensation that the flavor was traveling though my face, tingling and burning. It has kind of a soapy aftertaste. The best way I can describe this is as the wasabi of cheese.
- Condiments- It was soooo good with the plums, and chocolate figs.
- Wine- The Rose, as usual, was perfect.