Goat Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Goat Cheese is cheese made from the milk of goats. Goat Cheese is an ancient food that has been made for thousands of years. Goat Cheese originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East in areas where goats were more plentiful than cows, especially in areas with rough terrain. Goat Cheese as a delicacy was embraced by the people of France's Loire Valley in the 8th Century, a region that today is well known for its chevre. The word chevre simply means "goat" in French, but internationally is associated with a soft, spreadable type of French Goat Cheese.

Spain has a long history of making "Mato" cheese, a fresh white goat cheese, and Greece Feta Cheese has historically been maed from goat's milk, sheep's milk or a blend of the two. Today, Goat Cheese is made all over the world, notably in North America where unique creations like California's Humboldt Fog, Vermont's Fresh Chevre and Wisconsin's Goat Cheddar have become standouts of their own.

Goat cheese is made in a many different shapes, sizes, flavors and textures. Goat Cheese is best known for its distinctive tangy, rich flavor. Young Goat Cheese is fresh, mild, creamy and spreadable, whereas aged Goat Cheese tends to be harder and sharper. Goat Cheese may be sold fresh, aged or marinated. Often, softer varieties of Goat Cheese are rolled in fruits, nuts, spices or even edible flowers.

Goat Cheese melts differently than cow's milk cheese, and harder varieties are often baked and transformed into a gooey warm spread that may be served with garlic and bread. The French call this preparation "chevre chaud".

Compared to similar cheeses such as cream cheese made from cow's milk, Goat Cheese, or Chevre, is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories, and higher in calcium. Goat cheese is also more easily digested by humans than cheeses made from cow's milk, a good benefit for those with lactose intolerance. There are many ways of serving Goat Cheese, such as crumbling Goat Cheese on salads, or melting it into cooked dishes, or simply serving it with warmed bread.

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