Even if you are not a cheese enthusiast, sampling a variety of goat cheese will unlock and excite your taste buds.
Goat cheese, otherwise known as chevre, is often crumbled over greens or pizza or served on its own. Chevre is packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, not to mention the unique taste everyone yearns for.
So what makes goat cheese stand out from other cheese types? In this article, I have prepared a go-to list for reference on your next cheese shopping trip. However, before listings the cheese types, let’s review some goat cheese basics.
Table of Contents
What is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese is any cheese made from fresh goat milk. Different goat cheeses are available in a wide range of tastes and textures. They are produced around the world, and their market keeps growing every day.
Although Chevre is a term for the youngest versions of goat cheese, the term is also collectively used to refer to any goat cheese.
How Does Goat Cheese Taste?
Goat cheese is famous for its mild, buttery taste, but the flavor often deepens as the cheese ripens.
However, goat cheese is often sold wrapped with either herbs or peppers for an added flavor.
With its mild taste, goat cheese is a popular addition to both baked dishes and salads. No matter the type of cheese you go for, blue cheese has always won the day for the most delicious and fulfilling flavor.
However, you need to be careful of the amount of goat cheese you add to a recipe because the taste could get overwhelming, and you could end up ruining the dish.
Goat cheese has a lower lactose content compared to cow milk cheese, making it the most preferred choice for individuals with lactose intolerance or digestive issues. It is also friendlier for children’s tummies too.
How is Goat Cheese Made?
Goat cheese has been in existence since goats were domesticated, and the cheese-making process used then has not significantly changed. The goat cheese production process is one of the easiest, simplest, and oldest methods of cheese making.
Unlike cows who produce milk all year round, dairy goats are most productive from March to July.
To produce goat cheese, fresh goat milk is warmed and allowed to naturally curdle. The solidified milk proteins, otherwise known as curds, will soon form a separating layer distinguishing it from the whey, which is soon drained. The remaining curds are formed into a shape.
The pressed cheese will then take a few days to weeks to age and ripen. While it is young, goat cheese will have a soft crumbly texture with a white hue. Aged goat cheese has a bit more color with a firmer, fuzzy rind.
12 Types of Goat Cheese
1. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta is one of the greatest Italian cheeses, reputed for its rich taste and flexibility in the kitchen, not to mention that it is heavily packed with nutrients.
Although it has different varieties, ricotta is generally known for its mild and creamy taste, and whichever variety you go for, ricotta will have your mouth dripping and yearning for the next bite.
Ricotta is also creamy and spreadable, making it great for toast. You can also mix it with pesto and tomatoes for a yummy salad. Ricotta is even used in energy bars and cakes.
2. Feta Cheese
Renowned for its tangy flavor, feta cheese is a Greek cheese made of goat milk, although some other feta varieties are made of or include sheep’s milk, which gives it an extra tang.
Feta cheese generally has a taste that is beyond amazing, which is the reason why most people add it to almost every dish that can be complemented by cheese.
Depending on the feta variety and where and how the feta is produced, feta can have varying firmness and textures. However, feta cheese is generally creamy and crumbly, making it the perfect cheese for sprinkling on your healthy salad. However, it doesn’t melt well but is perfect for baking.
Feta cheese can also be served with vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and fruits like grapes to enhance its flavor.
3. Gouda Cheese
Gouda cheese is typically made of cow milk, but if you think the cow gouda cheese is superior, then you haven’t tried out the goat gouda cheese yet.
Goat gouda cheese has an excellent taste and is appealing to those with a sweet tooth. Native to the Netherlands, goat Gouda cheese is reputed for its aromatic scent and sweet, nutty flavor that makes it highly versatile in the kitchen and capable of complementing numerous dishes.
Goat gouda is great to serve with fresh fruits and bread. It also adds flavor to most baked dishes like chicken pot pie and vegetable lasagna.
Hailing from England, Ticklemore is an exquisite goat cheese with a floral-like flavor.
With its moist, crumbled texture, Ticklemore cheese retains the impressions of the plastic molds in which the curd is formed. It has a white rind with an earthy feel and is full of minerals. It also has a thick cream line and a creamy finish.
During the 80s, Garrotxa was on the verge of extinction. But thanks to conscious cheesemakers and farmers, the Garrotxa cheese production was revived, has constantly gained fame over time, and is flourishing today.
Garrotxa is known for its rich flavors, which it inherits from the pasteurized goat milk used to make it. The cheese is further enhanced by healthy molds that aid in the ripening process. Garrotxa cheese is usually left to ripen for approximately 1 – 2 months.
If you are not familiar with Garrotxa cheese, then this is a must for your next cheese sampling. Its flavor is spruced up by serving with sliced olives, fruits, and a variety of wine options.
6. Humboldt Fog
Hailing from California, Humboldt Fog is an American, bloomy rind goat cheese. It’s reputed for its flavor, as it can improve the taste of almost any dish. Fresh Humboldt Fog cheese has an aroma similar to an aged cow milk cheese but tastes better and sweeter.
Unlike other bloomy rind cheese, the rind of the Humboldt Fog cheese is kind of tasteless and doesn’t add flavor to the cheese, which greatly and beautifully contrasts with the light and creamy cheese interior.
Humboldt fog cheese blends well with prosciutto and is best served with and complemented by fruits and honey.
7. Verde Capra Cheese
Hailing from Italy, Verde Capra is a goat cheese with a heavy, wet curd that might immediately collapse if pierced. For this, it is possible to find traces of mold lines but little to no green or blue mold.
Verde Capra has a buttery aroma with a mouthwatering flavor that is complemented by its silky and squishy texture.
At first glance, you might be convinced that it is made of Gorgonzola, but it is a goat milk cheese. The proof of this is evidenced by the fermented fruit flavors and the fine snowy-white paste normally absent from Gorgonzola. If not for these specifics, it would be hard to tell the difference.
8. Buche de Chevre
Hailing from the Poitou-Charentes region in France, Buche de Chevre is characterized by a bloomy and crusty rind, while the bright white paste has a thick and creamy texture.
Buche de Chevre might not melt well while cooking but will gently melt on your tongue. It also has a bold and complex flavor with sweet undertones that often invoke the feel of an ooey-gooey caramel.
With such a flavor profile, Buche de Chevre is versatile with a range of recipes. It can be used for sprinkling on blinis as a dressing and can also be paired with honey.
9. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is another French cheese variety with a very versatile culinary profile. It is flavor intensive with a creamy texture, with blue mold evenly distributed throughout the cheese. The blue mold helps sweeten up any dish.
Blue cheese is also known for its tangy flavor, which is best complemented by honey or fresh figs. Its taste also blends like a charm with either fresh or roasted vegetables, as well as a variety of fine wines.
10. Murcia Al Vino
Often referred to as “Drunken Goat Cheese,” Murcia al Vino is famed and unique for its dark red-purple rind that it assumes as soon as it is dipped in red wine, its final stage of production.
For this cheese to fully mature, it undergoes several production stages and ripening times, which last approximately 4 – 6 weeks in total.
On the inside of the cheese is an ivory-colored creamy interior, which is complemented by the subtle taste of the double fermented wine it is dipped in at the final stage of aging.
Others might say the cheese and wine combination is heaven-sent because the cheese may fill you up but still have you craving for more.
Murcia al Vino is perfect with a wide range of dishes but is also well accompanied by a glass of Tempranillo. It’s also a favorite with fruity snacks like pears and apples, or nuts like almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
Found in both fresh and aged forms, Caprino goat cheese is a French delicacy that is found in a variety of recipes. Caprino has an exquisite taste that leaves most people drooling because of its rich flavor.
Fresh Caprino will have a mild flavor, while aged versions are known to be saltier with a tangy flavor.
You can enjoy Caprino cheese when served on its own, but its flavor is complemented by the addition of fruits or fine wine. Caprino cheese is also best as an appetizer due to its sweet flavor and can excite your taste buds with more acidity.
For decades, Halloumi goat cheese has remained the go-to comfort food for many. For this reason, you can find it everywhere from high-ranking hotels to small coffee shops. It isn’t until you try sampling Halloumi cheese that you will appreciate its wide acceptance and demand.
Halloumi cheese can also be made from cow’s and sheep’s milk to achieve a more tangy and complex flavor.
Leaving the cheese to age well will also give it a salty punch, which is complemented by the chewy texture, all of which help in sprucing up the cheese’s taste.
Besides its versatile culinary applications, halloumi cheese can also be pan-fried or baked for an extra crispy surface. Halloumi cheese is also best complimented with spiced vegetables and warm flatbreads.
Other Goat Cheeses
The listicle above only entails a few of the popular goat cheeses. However, the market is flowing with hundreds of goat cheese varieties, including Selles-sur-Cher, Saint-Maure de Touraine, Fromage Frais, Grottin de Chavignol, Brunet, and Tomme cheese, just to mention a few.
Goat cheese varieties are at times under-rated, but it is not until you sample them that you will appreciate the range of flavors unique to every goat cheese variety and the level of expertise required to make each. I hope this article guides you to sampling the goat cheese flavors of your lifetime.