On the one hand, I am quite surprised when people ask me why goat’s cheese either tastes or smells like goat.
After all, surely that’s the whole point of this unique and delicious cheese!
But then again, you could argue that cheese made from cows doesn’t taste like cows!
So, I decided to spend some time exploring goat’s cheese’s flavor profile.
How does the milk contribute to the taste?
Is the cheesemaking process responsible for that goaty aroma?
Can you remove the taste of goat from the cheese?
Follow me to uncover the mystery of the goat!
Discovering the Goaty Goodness: What Makes Goat’s Cheese So Unique?
Goat’s cheese tastes distinctively earthy and tangy due to the higher levels of proteins and fatty acids found in goat’s milk, as well as the higher proportion of short-chain fatty acids, which contribute to the strong aroma. The cheese-making process and factors such as the breed of goat, type of milk used, and diet of the animal can also affect the final flavor profile. Experimenting with different types of goat’s cheese or pairing it with complementary flavors can help those who are not fond of the “goaty” taste find a variety that they enjoy.
What Causes Goat’s Cheese to Have a “Goaty” Flavor?
Goat’s cheese certainly divides opinion!
I personally love it for its unique, tangy flavor.
But others are not so keen on its distinct signature taste.
So, let’s look at the different factors that contribute to goatiness!
The composition of the milk is the number one reason why goat’s cheese tastes the way it does.
In comparison to cow’s milk, the milk of a goat contains higher levels of proteins and fatty acids.
And when it comes to the aroma of goat’s cheese, that is caused by a high proportion of short-chain fatty acids.
However, there are other factors too that affect the flavor of the cheese; they don’t all taste the same.
For example, even the time of year when the milk is collected will make a difference.
The diet of the animal and the particular breed of goat also change the flavor.
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How Does the Type of Milk Used Affect the Flavor of Goat’s Cheese?
As you might expect, the flavor of the goat’s milk has a significant impact on the overall taste of the cheese.
But what are the key differences between goat’s milk and cow’s milk?
As I mentioned earlier, the acids and proteins are higher in goat’s milk.
The high acidity makes the cheese tangier and sharper.
Whereas cheese made from cow’s milk is often milder.
But another important factor is the concentration of butterfat, which helps to give a creamy texture.
I personally find that goat’s milk is slightly sweet, and it’s certainly creamier and richer-tasting.
But, of course, we can’t generalize, as the skill of the cheesemaker will ultimately determine the finished product.
What Role Does the Cheese-Making Process Play in the Flavor of Goat’s Cheese?
There are a lot of steps in the cheese-making process, and each one can add a slight twist to the finished product.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
First of all, a starter culture is necessary.
This is a complex combination of bacteria that is added to the milk and starts the whole fermentation process.
Different cultures inevitably produce a variety of textures and flavors.
Another important factor is the length of the aging process.
As the goat’s cheese ages, its flavor becomes more complex and definitely sharper.
This is due to the bacteria continuously breaking down the fats and proteins, creating new flavor compounds.
It is possible to eat goat’s cheese that is only a few days old.
However, typically, it is allowed to age for months or even years, becoming stronger in taste.
Can You Change the Flavor of Goat’s Cheese?
What if you really don’t like the smell and flavor of goat’s cheese?
Let’s see if there is anything you can do to make it more palatable to you.
The easiest thing to do is soak the cheese in water or milk, preferably a few hours before serving.
This can potentially make it less pungent and help to mellow the flavor.
You can also try complementing the taste with different food pairings, with the intention of balancing the sharpness.
Tangy and sweet flavors can work equally well with goat’s cheese.
I personally love to serve the cheese with balsamic vinegar.
Another favorite is honey or fruit, especially with warm goat’s cheese.
Of course, you could simply try different varieties of cheese, and the younger options may be more acceptable to your taste.
My Cheesy Goat Farm
- The unusual “goaty” flavor of goat’s cheese comes from a greater proportion of short-chain fatty acids and the higher levels of proteins and fatty acids found in goat’s milk.
- The flavor of goat’s cheese can differ depending on factors such as the diet of the animal, the time of year that the milk is acquired, and the breed of goat.
- Goat’s milk is creamier and richer than cow’s milk, with a somewhat sweet taste.
- The cheese-making process plays a definitive role in the final flavor of the goat’s cheese, with factors such as the aging process and the starter culture affecting the texture and taste of the cheese.
- If you’re not a fan of the unique “goaty” flavor of goat’s cheese, you can try soaking it in water or milk, pairing it with other flavors to balance out the tanginess, or experimenting with various types of goat’s cheese to find one that suits your preference.
I hope that now you understand the science behind the unique flavor of goat’s cheese and how it can help you enjoy and appreciate this delicious cheese even more!
Why not try out some of the tricks and tips we’ve covered and see if you can find a goat’s cheese that’s perfect for your palate?