The Tangy, Tantalizing World of Goat Cheese

Goat cheese just won’t stop. According to data from IRI, goat cheese sales have increased each year for the past six years, with the number of U.S. households buying goat cheese increasing .5% over the past year to 8.5%. Goat cheese, which used to be promoted primarily as a specialty health food item, has enjoyed increased popularity due to the focus on artisanal products marketed to more adventurous shoppers.

Flavors of goat cheese range from mild to pungent, depending on the quality of the goat’s milk, any infusions, and styles of cheese. While fresh goat cheese (chevre, French for “goat”) is one of the most popular types of goat cheese, hard cheeses made with goat’s milk are now easily found at most grocery stores and co-ops. Varieties like Gouda, Cheddar, Swiss, and Jack can be made with goat’s milk just as easily as with cow’s milk. Sometimes these firmer cheeses are covered in edible ash to prevent them from drying out.

Some recent winners from the American Dairy Goat Association 2017 Goat Milk Products Competition included flavors such as: Garlic Dill (Hidden Creek Farm); Mango (Latte Da Dairy); Cherry Cheesecake (Whispering Pines); Paprika Party (Decimal Place Farm); and Feta Marinated in Olive Oil with Sun Dried Tomatoes (Split Creek Farm).

Find it at the St. Peter Food Co-op

Goat cheese is high in calcium and vitamin A and easier for lactose intolerant people to digest. It’s also less allergenic than cheese from cow’s milk because of its low concentration of the highly allergenic protein known as alpha S-1 casein.

Around the world, goat cheese is more popular than cheese made from cow’s milk. This is due to a number of factors—goats can thrive in places cows can’t, are easier to handle, and can be kept on small plots of land. Goats also produce just a gallon or two of milk each day, providing approximately enough for a family’s daily needs without requiring refrigeration (cows can produce almost 4x that amount).

According to St. Peter Co-op Produce Manager Stephanie, fresh berries are always a great option for pairing with goat cheese. “Apples, pears, and dried figs are also great,” she adds. “And honey with any goat cheese is amazing. The sweet nectar mellows out the tang of fresh chevre or even a cheddar… with an apple…whoa!”

Most popular forms of goat cheese

According to data provided by IRI

  • Log/roll – 50% of sales
  • Crumbled – 21.5% of sales
  • Chunk – 18.2% of sales

Goat cheese recipes

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