August is National Goat Cheese Month! Chances are you’ve tried it, whether you realized it or not.
If you have ever tried a Greek salad with Feta, you have tried goat cheese.
The history of goat cheese goes back to Ancient Greece, circa 5,000 B.C. when the goat was first domesticated. Fresh goat cheese has about half the fat, cholesterol, and calories of commercial cream cheese made fro cow’s milk. Also known as Chevre, goat cheese has always enjoyed a strong popularity and spread from the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe, Africa, South West Asia and India.
The first settlers in America included goats in their inventory of dairy animals and the dairy goat has always been a presence on the typical American farm. Today, Alpine (France) and LaMancha (Spain) are among the top goat breeds for cheese production.
It takes about a hundred pounds of goat’s milk to make around twenty-five pounds of cheese. Goat cheese can come fresh, aged or hard or brined. Castelo Branco goat cheese originated in Portugal. It has a fluffy texture, white color and is available salted or spicy. Caprino goat cheese is Italian in origin and popular in traditional recipes for its tangy flavor, salted and sour. Bucheron goat cheese is very popular in France. This goat cheese is known for its unique appearance of ivory color with brown edges. Bucheron has a soft and creamy texture and strong taste. Originating in Holland, Gouda goat cheese is popular on pizza and pasta. This cheese has a tangy, sweet/salty taste.
“The variety and shapes and qualities of goat cheeses is matched only by the diversity of the American regions of their origin. Be it the hills of New England or upstate New York; the countryside of the Virginias or Carolinas; the Mid-West or Upper Mid-West; from the Texas plains to the Rockies and on to the coastal valleys of the West Coast; each cheese reflects the individual terrain and local traditions of the area of its production.” -Buffalo Creek Farm & Creamery
HOW TO OBSERVE
Try some goat cheese combinations, such as goat cheese ice cream. Add some goat cheese to your salad. Goat cheese pizza might be fun too! Use #GoatCheeseMonth in social media correspondence.
The American Cheese Society launched National Goat Cheese Month in 1998 to promote the benefits of cooking with goat cheese.