Goat cheese is a delicious and healthy addition to your diet. Unlike cow’s milk cheeses, it is low in calories and suitable for various diets. It is highly valued in many European countries, especially in France. French people enjoy it in different forms, with herbs, spices, and even noble mold.
History of Goat Cheese
The history of goat cheese dates back to ancient times when humans started domesticating animals. Goats were among the first domesticated animals due to their endurance and ability to withstand harsh conditions. Their milk was highly prized along with their skins and meat.
During the Arab wars, the technique of making goat cheese spread across the Mediterranean coast. When the Arabs were defeated in 732 AD, they left behind the method of making this cheese. In the Middle Ages, goat cheese was used as a form of currency and consumed during long journeys like the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
In the 19th century, pasteurization was discovered, which extended the shelf life of goat cheese. This process was proposed by the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur.
Is goat cheese dairy product?
Goat cheese is a fermented dairy product made from natural goat’s milk. It comes in various types: soft, hard, cottage, and those with mold. There are over 28 known varieties, including the popular tofu goat cheese.
The most common type found in supermarkets is the soft, creamy goat cheese. It has a pure white color without additives or preservatives. The flavor is creamy with a characteristic sharp note, which can vary based on factors like goat breeds, diet, and fat content.
To prepare goat cheese, goat’s milk with sufficient fat is heated and mixed with a starter culture. The curdling process takes about a day, and the curds are placed in molds to remove excess whey. The cheese then ages in specific conditions, sometimes including smoking, to develop its flavor.
Goat cheese has an energy value (100 g) of 290 kcal, with protein (21.3g), fat (21.7g), and carbohydrates (0.7g). It is rich in vitamins B, A, E, H, C, and minerals such as sodium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
What does goat cheese taste like?
Goat cheese has a sharp, tangy taste with a hint of bitterness. It is smooth, creamy, and less sweet than cow’s milk cheese. The flavor is described as earthy, playful, with notes of lemon and a subtle muskiness.
Beneficial Properties of Goat Cheese
Goat cheese has beneficial properties due to its rich composition. It is high in calcium, which strengthens bones and helps prevent cancer. It can normalize blood pressure, improve the central nervous system, and fight tooth decay, freshening breath.
Consuming goat cheese offers numerous benefits. It improves digestion, strengthens the immune system, regulates metabolism, and aids in weight loss. It is easier to digest than cow’s milk cheese and enhances metabolism.
For women, regular consumption of goat cheese normalizes microflora, preventing infections and alleviating menstrual discomfort. It is low in harmful cholesterol, benefiting the cardiovascular system. Goat cheese contains vitamin D, essential for bone health, joint function, and skin conditions.
In culinary applications, goat cheese can be enjoyed on its own, in sandwiches, sauces, and cold appetizers. It pairs well with vegetables and adds a special touch to salads, pasta, and pizza.
How Long Does Goat Cheese Last?
When choosing goat cheese, check the manufacturing date for freshness, and look for the label “pur chevres” on the packaging. Store soft varieties in vacuum packaging in the fridge for up to two weeks, or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Hard varieties can be stored for three months or frozen for longer periods. Take the cheese out of the fridge an hour before serving for enhanced aroma and taste.
Goat cheese is a highly valued delicacy worldwide, offering significant health benefits. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, aiding in disease prevention and supporting proper bodily functions. It is suitable for various diets and can be beneficial for pregnant women and the elderly. While store-bought cheese can be expensive, homemade versions can be just as delicious. Goat cheese enhances the flavors of dishes and is versatile in culinary applications, for example I like goat cheese pancakes. Proper storage and handling ensure its freshness. Overall, goat cheese is a valuable ingredient that adds elegance and flavor to meals, contributing to a memorable dining experience.