What Does Goat Cheese Taste Like? A Chef’s Opinion!


Today in our journey around the world of cheese, we stop at the Goat Cheese station! Goat cheese is very diverse in taste and textures and is well-known among cheese connoisseurs. Some call it goat cheese, while others prefer ‘Fromage du Chèvre’ or ‘Chèvre,’ referring to the French ‘chèvre’ (a goat). So let’s dive into all the peculiarities of goat cheese together in this article!

What does goat cheese taste like? Goat cheese is soft and creamy in texture with a tangy but still buttery flavor and an elegant aroma. Depending on the age of the goat cheese, you can taste some earthy and robust notes. Mature goat cheese also shifts to a crumbly, flaky texture with a more intense pungent smell.

Cheese addicts understand that goat cheese varies greatly – from fresh and mild to mature and intense in taste and aroma. Don’t worry if your goat cheese is not creamy and buttery but robust and rigid – most likely, you are enjoying a well-aged goat cheese! If you want a milder taste, stick to fresh goat cheese, aged only a couple of days.

Goat Cheese Taste – All You Need to Know

Goat cheese is a type of delicious cheese made from goat’s milk. Its taste and smell differ from ordinary cheese made from cow’s milk because of the particular fatty acids, including caprylic, capric, and caproic. These acids are responsible for the goat cheese taste being a bit tangy and ‘goaty.’ Thanks to its texture and exquisite taste, goat cheese is used in a wide range of dishes of many cuisines.

Does Goat Cheese Have a Strong Taste?

Goat cheese is rich in taste, and it is strong but still gentle. The taste of goat cheese varies from sweet and delicate to salty and sharp. While chèvre is usually called a fresh goat cheese, it combines delicate and savory taste. Matured goat cheese is stronger and more acidic.

Despite goat cheese being interchangeably called chèvre, the history of goat cheese goes back to the times of Ancient Greece, where Greeks used it instead of breast milk. The French have also produced chèvre for centuries, particularly in the central region of the Rhone-Alpes. Famous goat cheese producer countries also include Italy, Norway, and Belgium.

Does goat cheese taste better than cow cheese? Goat cheese tastes different from cow cheese. If you like a more sour and creamy flavor, then fresh goat cheese is a perfect option for you and is indeed better than cow cheese. However, if you prefer a milder and buttery flavor, cow cheese may be better.

Apart from the taste and texture, goat cheese is also considered a healthier cheese. It contains less lactose than cow cheese and serves as vegan cheeses like tofu for lactose-intolerant cheese lovers. In addition, it has a lower level of sodium, fat, and cholesterol.

See also: What Does Tofu Taste Like? Ultimate Tofu Taste Guide

What Is the Texture of Goat Cheese?

The goat cheese texture, as well as taste, varies depending on its maturity. Fresh goat cheese has a creamy and smooth structure perfect for spreads, dips, and cooked dishes. The mature goat cheese texture is more crumbly and hard. Such texture is preferable for non-cooked dishes.

The diverse texture of the goat cheese makes it a great guest for your kitchen! If you need more moisture from goat cheese, stick to its fresh version. The freshest chèvre resembles the texture of cottage cheese. If you want goat cheese to be drier, opt for the aged goat cheese, alternatively to well-aged cow or sheep cheese.

Goat Cheese Smell

Without its aroma, goat cheese would not be goat cheese, and you wouldn’t be able to truly experience the cheese. Still, while most cheese lovers enjoy the taste of goat cheese, some are unimpressed. Is it tangy and sour, as is the taste? How to distinguish a good goat cheese smell from the smell of spoiled goat cheese? Continue reading and discover with us!

What does goat cheese smell like? The smell of goat cheese should bring you to the green lanes and farms full of happy goats. It sounds hilarious, but goat cheese indeed smells earthy with slightly sour notes. It is caused by the fatty acids in the goat milk, the aroma is noticed even before you cut the goat cheese.

Similar to the taste and texture modifications happening with the aging of the cheese, goat cheese smell also changes when it is aged or brined. Fresh cheese has a mild smell, while aged goat cheese may reach the level of being called stinky or too goaty. Quality goat cheese should indeed smell like a goat because it contains distinct fatty acids. While some goats give milk with lower acid levels, manufacturers rarely indicate the breed of goats they use. If you don’t want to buy stinky goat cheese, stick to the freshest varieties.

Why does goat cheese smell so bad? Goat cheese smells so bad because it contains fatty acids (caprylic, capric, and caproic). The smell only gets stronger as the cheese ages due to bacteria growth. Fresh goat cheese has a much milder smell.

The fragrance of the goat cheese may be too intense for you, and you are overwhelmed with it to such an extent that it feels terrible. The root cause of your mismatch is hard to identify, but what about giving it a second try? Possibly, the problem was with the exact goat cheese because of the quality of the milk, cheesemaking styles or techniques, or aging period. Be courageous enough, and you’ll find the right goat cheese with a more pleasant odor!

How to Make Goat Cheese at Home

Goat Cheese Substitutes

What is goat cheese similar to? Although the combination of the goat cheese smell, taste, and texture provides a unique experience, we can also compare it with other cheeses. With a strong aroma and tangy flavor, goat cheese is similar to blue cheese. With a buttery structure, the chèvre is also reminiscent of cream cheese or mascarpone.

There is no use in finding a 100% identical substitute to the goat cheese among cow cheeses because of the lack of goat milk fatty acids in cow milk. However, if you are willing to prepare something delicious and your recipe requires goat cheese, but you are out of it or cannot find it anywhere, we are here to help you out. We recommend you to pay attention to whether you need just some spreadable cheese, some sour note in a cold dish, or you want to cook the dish in the oven.

5 Goat Cheese Substitutes That Won’t Leave You Without a Tasty Meal:

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a great goat cheese alternative in terms of texture – it is as soft and spreadable as a fresh chèvre. To make its mild and buttery taste more similar to goat cheese, spice it up with your favorite herbs and add salt. Remember that cream cheese is made from cow milk, and it’s significantly fattier than goat cheese. Cream cheese would be a perfect match for sandwiches instead of goat cheese.

Feta Cheese

With a crumbly consistency, feta cheese is a good choice for your favorite goat cheese salads if you run out of it. Like goat cheese, feta has a strong taste; it is very salty and a bit tangy, sometimes even saltier than goat cheese. Therefore, it can substitute fresh and mature goat cheese. Make sure not to add too much feta to avoid making the dish too salty.

Halloumi

If you don’t want to substitute goat cheese with cow cheese, take a careful look at halloumi, usually made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. Its saltiness can be a great addition to salads and vegetables like goat cheese, especially the brined one. However, halloumi has a very distinctive structure; it’s a bit squeaky and chewy. If the dish requires a chèvre chaud (warm goat cheese), go all-in with halloumi!

Fromage Blanc

This French cheese is similar to fresh goat cheese with its creamy texture and rich aroma. If you need a piece of cheese to spread easily, Fromage blanc will serve perfectly, don’t forget to flavor it with your favorite spices.

Gruyere Cheese

If you are looking for a decent alternative to strong-flavored mature goat cheese, you should opt for Gruyere cheese. Like aged goat cheese, Gruyere has a sharp, tangy, and salty taste, but it also adds some mild and sweet sub-tones. Don’t limit yourself to the salads and spreads. Try to make a Gruyere cheese melt to unfold its taste even more.

Goat Cheese Price

How much does goat cheese cost? On average, the retail price of goat cheese is between $10-20 per pound. The cost of the goat cheese depends on your location, season, and the type of goat cheese you’re buying. The older the goat cheese or, the more rare the type, the more expensive it is.

Why is goat cheese so expensive? Goat cheese is more expensive than cow cheese because goat milk is more expensive than cow milk. Goats produce less milk, and it is fragile and easily damaged before the cheesemaking process.

Conclusion

Goat cheese with all its variety of flavors, textures, and aromas is worth a bite! Start cautiously with a gentle Fromage de chèvre, and enjoy its creamy texture and sour taste. Then move on to more mature goat cheeses with more pungent smells, piquant flavor, and crumbly consistency. When you believe you’ve tried everything that goat cheese has to offer, experiment with molded and brined goat cheeses which will open even more horizons for you!

FAQ

Does Goat Cheese Taste Like Feta?

While feta is considered one of the best substitutes for goat cheese, they don’t taste the same. Feta tends to be salty, and goat cheese is somewhat tangy. Still, the textures of goat cheese and feta are very similar. They can successfully replace one another in salads.

Does Goat Cheese Taste Like Cream Cheese?

Fresh goat cheese and cream cheese feel very similar in texture but not taste. Cream cheese is more fatty, buttery, and mild, while the fresh chèuvre has tangy notes and an acidic flavor. The more aged goat cheese becomes, the more intense and distinctive it becomes from the cream cheese.

Does Goat Cheese Taste Like Mozzarella?

Goat cheese does not taste like mozzarella. The goat cheese flavor is earthy and sour, while mozzarella tastes more gentle and smooth. Mozzarella is tougher than fresh goat cheese but softer than mature goat cheese. Still, you can melt some goat cheese instead of mozzarella in your dishes.

Does Goat Cheese Taste Like Regular Cheese?

Goat cheese tastes differently from regular cheese made of cow milk. It has a rich taste with a grassy and earthy aroma, it is more pungent and less fatty and heavy than most regular cheeses. Only moldy cow cheeses like blue cheese can compete with goat cheese’s taste.

Does Goat Cheese Taste Good on Pizza?

Goat cheese is a delightful addition to pizza. Although it is not that easy to melt, goat cheese melts perfectly fine in the oven. It can be used for your homemade Quattro formaggi (four cheese pizza) or even margarita instead of or together with mozzarella. The slightly tangy and sour taste will enrich your pizza.

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