People often shy away from cheeses made from goat milk for fear they won’t like the flavor. Goat milk cheeses are actually one of the more mild-flavored cheeses and present with a sweet flavor and slightly salty undertones.
Cheeses made from goat milk can be a good alternative for individuals who are lactose-intolerant and those with autoimmune disease. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, “goat milk contains anti-inflammatory compounds called oligosaccharides which may make goat’s milk easier to digest.”
Goat cheese is a good source of calcium, but has less calories, fat content, and cholesterol than cow’s milk products. It is also a good source of protein, potassium, riboflavin, and tryptophan.
Goat cheeses are soft and creamy because they are normally not aged. They require additional care when serving and storing. Goat cheese is heat sensitive and needs to be protected from overexposure to air.
When serving goat cheeses with breads and crackers, it is best to remove from refrigerator at least one hour before serving. Goat cheeses must be melted over low temperatures when adding to recipes to prevent graininess and separation.
Chevre is one of the most common cheeses made from goat’s milk, as well as one of the most versatile. It is sold in a variety of shapes including logs, small rounds, and large rounds. Chevre can be molded and rolled in dried herbs, black pepper, or spice rubs then sliced and served with breads and crackers.
Chevre is a good alternative to cream cheese and makes an excellent spread or dip. This cheese can be cut into chunks and served with Greek salads, garden salads, and fruit trays. It’s perfect for melting and makes a great addition on pizzas and calzones.
Pyramide is an interesting cheese that is shaped like a pyramid with the top cut off. It is usually coated with an edible ash from grapevine shavings. The texture and flavor varies dependent on age, but can range from soft to crumbly and mild to sharp.
Pyramide is considered an elite cheese in France because it is made using Century-old techniques. According to legend, Napoleon is responsible for the missing top of the pyramid-shaped cheese when he chopped off the top after losing his campaign in Egypt.
Pyramide yields a white cheese at first cutting then changes color as it ages. Freshly crafted Pyramide presents with a smooth flavor with hints of mint undertones. Aged Pyramide is highly aromatic and becomes mushy as it matures. This goat cheese pairs well with fruit, breads, and crackers.
Banon cheese boasts an earthy flavor that stems from being encased in chestnut leaves and tied with palm tree fibers. The chestnut leaves provide a flavor profile that people either love or hate.
Banon cheese dates back to the early 1200s where it was crafted in the village of Banon in France. The process involves molding hand ladled unprocessed milk that matures for 5 days before being wrapped in chestnut leaves. It then matures for two weeks before it can be consumed. The cheese has reached its peak ripeness when the leaves turn brown.
Banon cheese is the smallest production of French goat cheeses, with only 50 tons produced annually. It pairs well with fruits, breads, and crackers.
SAINTE MAURE CHEESE
This unique goat cheese is cylindrical shaped, rolled in black wood ash, and a straw inserted down the middle to facilitate the aging process. It hails from the Touraine region of France and is believed to date back to the 8th century.
The rind of Sainte Maure cheese should be smooth with splotches of blue-gray mold. The cheese is white with a fine, yet firm, texture. The flavor profile presents with undertones of walnuts and citrus and has a slightly salty taste.
The texture of Sainte Maure ranges from soft and spreadable to hard and crumbly. The nutty and tart flavor profile pairs well with chocolates, fruits, breads, and crackers. Aged cheeses make an excellent salad topping and cheese fondue.
Montrachet is a white cheese that is rolled into a log shape, covered with salted ash, and wrapped in chestnut or grape leaves. Made in Burgundy, France, Montrachet cheese is creamy and presents with a mild tangy flavor with undertones of earthy flavors from the leaves.
Montrachet goat cheese becomes bitter with age and most people prefer to consume it soon after it has reached its peak ripeness. It pairs well with hard breads such as a French baguette and works well as a spread on fruits. It can be used as a substitute for cream cheese and is a good choice when making cheese fondue.
FoodTerms.com: Pyramide Cheese
Associated Content: Banon Cheese