What is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese is simply cheese made with goat’s milk as opposed to cow’s milk. There are many different types of goat cheese based on their moulds, rinds, how long they are aged for or if they are simply fresh.
You may have heard goat cheese being referred to as chèvre goat cheese. Chèvre is French for goat and is commonly used to refer to goat cheese in general.
So technically, saying chèvre goat cheese isn’t quite right. It would mean we’re saying goat cheese goat cheese or goat goat cheese! LOL!
Goat cheese is a popular kind of cheese consumed by those who are lactose intolerant. While lactose is still present, it is significantly reduced during the fermentation process. This, therefore, makes it a little bit more digestible.
What is Ash Goat Cheese?
Have you ever seen goat cheese covered in black ash and didn’t quite know how to eat it? I have to admit that when I first discovered it, in my naivety, I thought it was just a gimmick to stand out in the massive sea of cheeses.
One of the many challenges of cheese making was protecting the cheese’s surface while it allowed the cheese to age without interruption, specifically from insects.
Dating hundreds of years ago, someone thought to coat the cheese with the ash from the burning of the grapevine clippings.
The upside to this form of protection, which they also discovered soon after, was that the ash also enabled better mould growth and provided a better environment for the aging process.
Of course, today, we’re no longer rubbing gritty ash but rather activated charcoal, which is mixed with salt. It is food grade approved and completely edible.
When looking for this, it usually comes in a goat cheese log and is covered in black looking soot.
What is the Most Expensive Goat Cheese in the World?
Not quite 100% goat cheese but the most expensive cheese in the world that uses goat milk is Pule.
Pule is a Serbian cheese made from 60% donkey milk (Yes! Donkey!) and 40% goat’s milk. The cost of this cheese is US$600 per kg!
They are so expensive because there are only 100 female (jennies) Balkan donkeys that produce milk, of which it takes 25 litres to make just 1 kg.
They are also extremely healthy and much more so than cow’s milk which contributes to its popularity.
It doesn’t help that goats also don’t produce as much milk as cows which is why goat cheese, in general, is always more expensive. Goats simply don’t produce milk all year round.
Has anyone tried this illustrious cheese?
What Does Goat Cheese Taste Like?
Flavour: Goat cheese is famously tart. Fresh goat cheese is tangy and earthy and is intense on the palate. Milk from goats has shorter fatty acid chains called capric acid, giving the milk a more flavoursome and distinctive taste
The classic flavours of goat cheese tend to linger on the tongue, which complements the other ingredients they are typically paired with.
Texture: Goat cheese is mostly creamy, soft and at room temperature, is very spreadable. Aged goat cheese is firmer but never gets to the point of becoming a hard cheese. Its texture is less smooth and a bit more crumbly, perfect for sprinkling over a recipe.
Nothing quite beats spreading silky goat cheese on warm bread and seasoned with some cracked black pepper. Don’t forget to lick the spoon too!
What Goes with Goat Cheese?
Fruit and Vegetables
Apricot, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, avocado, beetroot, blueberry, broccoli, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber, dates, endive, fig, green beans, guava, honeydew, lettuce, mushroom, nectarine, peach, pear, persimmon, pomegranate, radish, spinach, watermelon, zucchini flower.
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Almonds, basil, cayenne pepper, chervil, chives, hazelnut, macadamia nuts, paprika, parsley, pine nuts, pistachio, sage, tarragon, walnuts.
Protein and Other
Bacon, beef, bulgur, chicken, duck, egg, freekeh, ham, honey, lamb, maple syrup, orzo, prosciutto, quinoa, salami, truffle, turkey, veal, wild rice.
How to Use Goat Cheese in Salads and Side Dishes?
The best way to enjoy goat cheese in salads and sides is to simply crumble them on top of the dish. If you have a hot side dish, fold them through the vegetables and allow the goat cheese to melt and provide extra creaminess.
You can also whip them to create a salad dressing, crumb them to make delicious chunks for salad toppers or simply served them on the side for people to eat as they wish. Baked goat cheese is also a fantastic way to enjoy it warm.
Flavoured goat cheese is also a great way to enjoy it in side dishes and salad. Cranberry goat cheese, for example, is absolutely delicious and can give a salad that extra sweetness from the cranberries.
Salads and Side Dishes with Goat Cheese
Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This is a cucumber and tomato salad, but it ain’t boring! Mix in tangy tamarillo, aromatic basil, creamy crumbled goat cheese and top with toasted panko breadcrumbs; you have a tasty salad worth sharing.
Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto
Sweet, salty and creamy! We absolutely love this simple to make Grilled Apricot Salad complemented by the salty and smoky flavours of prosciutto crudo. Add some dollops of creamy goat’s cheese to round off the salad.
Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad
Who can go past the goodness of caramelised onions in this Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad? This hearty salad recipe is so easy to make, perfect for mid-week dinners or weekend lunches.
More Ingredient Pairing Ideas
If you’d like to create your own side dish or salad and have an ingredient you’d like to hero, we have some great pairing suggestions to help you work out what flavours go well together!
- What Goes Well with Chervil
- What Goes Well with Feta
- What Goes Well with Almond
- What Goes Well with Fennel
- What Goes Well with Cabbage
Easy Side Dish Recipes
Cooking up a storm and need a good side dish or two? We have a comprehensive collection of side dish recipes for you to choose from. Here are some recipe you may like:
- Roasted Asian Eggplant with Gochujang Glaze
- Roasted Leeks and Peas
- Lemongrass Chilli Green Beans Stir Fry
More Salad Dressing Recipes
Be inspired by our huge collection of homemade salad dressing recipes. Perfect way to reduce wastage, control the flavours to suit your palate and be able to experiment with new flavours!
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