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Loving Goat Cheeses for All Its Health and Flavor

The world loves cheese! It would be a shame not to like it. It is not just delicious, it is healthy too. If you like cheese, but you are beleaguered by cow’s milk allergy, lactose intolerance or have problem digesting cheeses (and fatty foods), you need to try the cheese made from goat’s milk.

If that is at the last on your list of cheeses, just like it is at the bottom of most people’s priority, maybe you need to read Hannah Howard’s “7 Great Goat Cheeses You Should Know;” posted in Serious Eats. Howard’s obvious enthusiasm about goat cheese is oozing and contagious. If you are not yet a fan of goat cheese, this is for you.

goat cheeses“Goat cheese might be the most controversial cheese…  “Is there anything you don’t like?,” you will hear “goat cheese” like a sad refrain.

…  I love goat cheese with all my heart and tummy, so to me, this doesn’t seem fair.

I am a goat cheese evangelist and optimist who believes even the staunchest goat cheese hater may be forever converted with a bite of something ethereal, something that shatters all goat cheese expectations, like the raw milk Tomme de Chevre Aydius, which has the texture of gruyere and a grassy sweetness that departs entirely from the familiar goat lexicon. 

Behold, the beautiful, sculptural varieties of French chevres. The logs, the pyramids, the buttons. French cheesemakers have been crafting chevre for a thousand years and counting. Whatever your goat cheese stance, I urge you to open your mind and mouth to some (or all!) of these seven greats.”

Howard enumerated 7 goat cheeses you must try: Humboldt Fog, Bleu du Bocage, Garrotxa, Crottin de Chavignol, Tomme de Chevre Aydius, Brunet, and Saint-Maure de Touraine.

Such exultation for the goat cheese must be coming somewhere. If goat cheese truly deserves a second look, why not give it some scrutiny. This article by Dr, Mercola “Is Goat Cheese Good for You?” published in Mercola.com – Health Section can be a good way to start.

The first 3 lessons on goat’s milk are:

  1. “…if you’re sensitive to lactose from cow’s milk … goat cheese contains less lactose than cheese made from cow’s milk, it is typically well tolerated by those with lactose intolerance.”
  1. Even if you have an allergy to milk protein, you may be able to tolerate cheese made from goat’s milk because it’s formed with shorter amino acid protein chains than cow’s milk.”
  1. Goat’s milk also has a chemical structure that’s similar to that of breast milk, and it has smaller fat globules than cow’s milk, which tend to make goat cheese easier to digest than cow’s milk cheese …”

Good News to Weightwatchers and Diabetics

Get this. According to Dr. Mercola, “Goat cheese contains more of certain nutrients, and fewer calories, than cheddar.” 

Weightwatchers and diabetics are constantly on the lookout for low-calorie food that taste good and filling. Goat cheese must be on your list; an ounce of it clocks in at about 40 fewer calories than an equivalent amount of cheddar cheese. It also contains about 50 percent less sodium, and about 3g less protein, which is good if you are consuming more protein than you should. Goat cheese is definitely a better option when you want to lose weight.

Here’s more. Goat cheese has more vitamin D, K, niacin, and thiamine, and about an equal quantity of vitamin A than cheddar, while being a rich source of phosphorus and riboflavin, a B vitamin. Hard goat cheese also has up to 240 grams calcium content. It is useful in boosting metabolism as it banishes the need for the body to release a hormone needed to maintain the calcium level; in simple terms it is crucial for a faster fat oxidation.

The Kind of Goat Cheese to Look Out For

If you are inspired by these articles by Hannah Howard and Dr. Mercola, and you would like to give goat cheese a try, you would want to adhere to the same standard as you would when looking for healthy dairy products. This is important if you want to get the most out of goat cheese. As a guide, go for cheese made from high quality milk preferably from grass-fed goats.

The taste and the level of nutrition of goat cheese is a reflection of the kind of milk used in it. The better tasting and highly nutritious ones always come from those that are grass-fed. Since goat cheese is still not as popular as cow’s milk cheese, you can still get these from artisanal cheese (link to Making Goat Cheese the Artisan Way) makers. Be warned though;  more and more CAFOs or concentrated animal feeding operations are getting into goat cheese making, though still not in the scale of cheeses from cow’s milk.

Goat cheese has so much goodness it would be offensive not to even try it. Though you can eat it plain and simple without any fun fare, it can be a treat if you’ll try some simple recipes with goat cheese. You will not regret the day you try it; it can’t be many chefs’ favorite ingredient for nothing. All you need is a simple recipe that needs a bit of nutritional punch and flavor to be fan for life.

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