If your wondering is goats cheese dairy you are not alone. Goats milk is a popular dairy alternative for people who are lactose intolerant, suffering from IBS, or following certain religious dietary restrictions.
Is Goats Cheese Dairy?
Goats cheese is dairy because its ingredients are milk and whey. Whey is a byproduct of the original ingredient. Goat cheese comes directly from a mammal, in this case, the female goat.
It was once believed that goats could not be used as dairy animals because their stomachs were too different from those of cows.
This turned out to be untrue and today there are over 650 million goats in the world and they are used for dairy production.
In fact, there is an increasing trend to use goats milk as a replacement for cow’s milk in everything from cheese to ice cream.
Particularly amongst those who suffer from lactose intolerance or those that choose not to consume animal products for religious purposes.
What Is Goats Cheese?
The term cheese is actually a generic one and can refer to either cows’ or goats milk. However, the cheeses we are most familiar with are usually made from cow’s milk.
For example, there is cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese but what about chevre, feta, and turog?
While these may seem like a foreign language to us they are actually all different kinds of cheese.
They are referred to as goats cheese, a totally natural and non-processed dairy alternative that is gaining popularity in Western culture due to its flavor, versatility, and nutritional benefits.
Goats milk is considered the ‘whole’ food for goats. It contains a good balance of fats, vitamins, and minerals and is easier to digest than cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk is lower in lactose (the sugar found in milk) and so many people can drink it without experiencing digestive problems or allergic reactions.
Additionally, goats cheese has far less cholesterol than cow’s milk which makes it a healthy alternative for people who are watching their cholesterol level.
How Is Goats Cheese Made?
The manufacturing process is pretty much the same as making other types of cheese. In order to obtain the unique flavor, texture, and aroma that we associate with goat’s cheese, they use fresh goats milk rather than cow’s milk.
Goats cheese is typically made from fresh goats’ milk that has been pasteurized (heated to a high temperature but not boiling). The process kills off the bacteria and enzymes in the milk.
The micro-organisms are responsible for giving goat’s cheese its characteristic flavor, aroma, and texture.
Once this process has taken place, cheese curd (the solid) is separated from the liquid whey by putting them into a muslin cloth or linen bag and allowing it to drain.
The curd is then compacted into different shapes depending on what kind of cheese they want to make. Salt is also used in the process as a preservative.
The cheese is allowed to mature and ripen in cool caves of between 5 and 10 degrees. The age, texture, and flavor will depend on the quality of the milk used when making the cheese as well as how long it is allowed to mature.
Which Type of Goats Cheese Should I Buy?
There are endless varieties available that vary according to type, taste, color, and texture. The best way to decide which one you want to buy is to try a few different varieties first.
Tasting different samples will help you decide what you like and what you don’t like. It will also help you experience things like smell that can be off-putting for some people.
The goats cheese that you can buy in your local supermarket will most likely have been pasteurized. This makes it more palatable and easier for those who are lactose intolerant.
However, if you find it hard to source unprocessed cheese locally you can look for a supplier online, or if you have the time and patience, make your own.
If making your own goat’s cheese remember to keep it in a warm place and use an airtight container. Check this post on the pros and cons of keeping goats.
It should be eaten within three days of being made if served at room temperature but can be preserved for up to two weeks if chilled in the refrigerator.
If you’re looking for a cow dairy alternative, goat’s cheese is a natural, nutritious choice that combines healthy fats with protein and is high in calcium, a mineral often found lacking in modern diets. Additionally, it tastes great!
As noted above, not all cheeses are made from cow’s milk. Just because one type of cheese is made from another animal’s milk does not make it non-diary.
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