Goat and cow milk have similar overall fat contents. However, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids such as caproic, caprylic and capric acid in goat’s milk contributes to the characteristic tart flavor of goat’s milk cheese. (These fatty acids take their name from the Latin for goat, capra.)
Goat milk is often consumed by young children, the elderly, those who are ill, or have a low tolerance to cow’s milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese.
Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. In the most simple form, goat cheese is made by allowing raw milk to naturally curdle, and then draining and pressing the curds. Other techniques use an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) or rennet to coagulate the milk. Soft goat cheeses are made in kitchens all over the world, with cooks hanging bundles of cheesecloth filled with curds in the warm kitchen for several days to drain and cure. If the cheese is to be aged, it is often brined so it will form a rind, and then stored in a cool cheese cave for several months to cure.
Ashley is a pasteurized goat milk cheese with a bloomy rind and a coating of edible vegetable ash. It also has a line of ash through the middle much like French Morbier or American Humbolt Fog. The cheese ripens starting with the bloomy mold exterior, resulting in a core of fresh goat cheese surrounded by a runny shell. A typical goat cheese tang with a slightly chalky center. Excellent when slightly warmed in the oven. Pasteurized nanny milk. Mixed rind of ash and bloomy. Aged 30-45-days.
Black Goat 2 yr Aged Cheddar : Mariposa Dairy (Lindsay, ON)
This two year old aged goat cheddar is an exclusive private label collaboration between Glen Echo and (Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve is their new upscale line of Farmstead cheeses. ) Mariposa Dairy. Encased in an artificial wax rind this cheese moves to a white pasty interior which shows evidence of lactic acid crystallization. A rich and creamy earthiness is exuded by this cheese. Dense and fudge-like on the palate, you get a salty tang and sour lactic notes one would hope for from a quality cheddar, yet it remains wonderfully mild to the novice as far a goat cheese goes. Pasteurized goat milk. Pressed and semi-firm. Aged up to 2 years.
Le Draveur : Fromagerie La Cabriole (Montcerf-Lytton, QC)
Fromagerie La Cabriole offers exceptionally fresh cheeses because the milk used to manufacture their cheeses is produced on the farm by a herd of pretty colorful alpine goats, who will show you all the unique flavors of the region’s beautiful pasture areas. The “Cabriole” is typical of the young goat rodeo in Quebec: this cheese represents that the firmness of the player and the lively capriciousness of the sumptuous taste of goat milk. Pasteurized goat’s milk. Firm. Surface-ripened for more than 60 days. Washed rind.
Made from goat’s milk, this cheddar from Chesterville, Que., turns 20 this year. It won accolades at the 2007 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the 2007 American Cheese Society awards. Chèvre Noir is true maturing cheddar which means it ages gracefully. It is ripened for a minimum of one year before being sold, but choice lots can be aged for two years or longer. Due to its age, the flavours of Chèvre Noir are complex and rich, ranging from sweet to nutty with a caramel aftertaste. One of its characteristics is a slight crunch within the creamy texture due to lactose crystals, which provide added flavour and develop in small pockets within the cheese. Whereas most cheesemakers will pasteurize their milk by rapidly bringing it to a very high temperature, thus cooking out the nuances, Tournevant uses milk that has been pasteurized slowly, and at a lower temperature, often referred to as thermalization. Thermalized nanny milk. Pressed cheddar. Aged from 1 to 4 years.
This ash covered goat cheese is made by husband and wife team Ginette Bégin and Mario Quirion, who also make the tasty washed rind cheeses Magie de Madawaska and Le Clandestin. They first created Grey Owl at the request of an American client. The name refers to the colour of the ash-covered cheese, as well as honouring the legendary Archie Belaney, one of Canada’s first conservationists, also known as Grey Owl. He lived near Lake Témiscouata, and had a major influence on promoting harmony between nature and man, and preserving the Canadian wilderness. The milk for Grey Owl comes from Saanen, a Swiss brand of goat raised about 30 kilometres from the dairy. Traditionally, rolling a cheese in ash kept simulated a rind and kept away the insects. This is a surface-ripened goat’s milk cheese: the dark, slate-colored, wrinkly vegetable ash rind reveals a dense, snow white, velvety interior that becomes soft and silky closest to the rind. All the cheese from Fromagerie Le Détour is made with non-animal rennet and is vegetarian friendly. Grey Owl was a 2011 American Cheese Society and past Sélèction Caseus winner. Made from pasteurized goat’s milk. Ashed rind. Aged 15 – 20 days.
A little play on words, for the name sounds similar to Parmesan, a very similar cheese in taste and texture. It is the aged sister of the semi-firm Tomme des Joyeux Fromagers. Parle-moi z’en means “talk to me about it”, and this cheese certainly has what it takes to loosen up your tongue. A cup of coffee, served with goat’s milk in Latin America, and that was it. Isabelle Couturier and Alain La Rochelle fell in love… with goat’s milk and bought 20 goats with the intention of making butter, ice cream and cheese. In 2004 their frommagerie took form at Saint-Ludger, a village at the eastern edge of the Estrie region. Now they have 100 Saanen, Alpine and Lamancha goats. Hay fed raw goat (Nanny) milk. Aged 6-8 months. Washed rind, firm paste. Aged 2-3 months.
The name of this cheese dairy was inspired by the origins of the two owners: Fabienne who is from Switzerland and her husband, Frédéric Guitel, who is from Normandy. It also refers to a beautiful small region in Normandy that resembles the Swiss countryside. Petit Poitou is a soft cheese with a bloomy rind made from goat’s milk and is from the camembert family. In the mouth, it transforms into a creamy buttery form with a hint of fresh milk and a slight trace of salt. Pasteurized goat milk. Bloomy rind, soft paste. Aged 6 weeks.
Smoked Goat : Blyth Farm Cheese Inc. (Blyth, Ontario)
In 2000, Paul & Heleen and their family moved to Canada from Holland and started a successful goat farm. In 2008, development of the cheese plant was started. Paul became a certified milk grader and certified milk receiver, and in 2011 they received the permits from OMAFRA to operate the cheese plant. Their smoked goat is a Gouda style cheese from the heart of South Western Ontario. It has a deep, smoky flavour and is perfect with a deep red wine. In November 2014, Blyth Smoked won first place in the Flavoured Cheese division at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and has become a standard in some of Ontario’s finest restaurants. Thermalised goat milk. Semi-firm and washed rind. Aged 3 months.
Sainte-Nitouche : Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Noyan, QC)
Though not the nicest expression to use for someone; a Sainte-Nitouche is a hypocrital person who takes on an innocent and prudish air, the cheese however, is not. It has notes of roasted almonds and caramel, and a woody aroma and a winner at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Ste-Nitouche pairs well with homemade tapenade or fresh- or dried-tomato bruschetta. Pasteurized nanny goat milk. Semi-firm. Surface-ripened. Aged 160 days.
Tipsy Billy Wine Goat Cheese : Made for Glenn Echo Fine Foods by Blyth Farm Cheese (Ontario)
Inspired by the Drunken Goat cheese from Spain’s Murcia Region, Glenn Echo decided to collaborate and create a similar yummy cheese with the new and lauded Blyth Farm Cheese, much in the manner like their Tipsy with cow milk that Glenn Echo collaborates with Gunn Hill Cheese on. This firm goat cheese is soaked in an Ontario Wine for up to 5 days until it acquires a deep red rind. Pasteurized goat milk. Soaked and washed mixed rind. Semi-firm. Aged 3 months.
Tomme des Joyeux Fromagers is a farm cheese made with raw goat’s milk. Only the herd’s milk is used. A lovely ivory colour, it tastes slightly caprine (goat-like) and its washed rind has a taste typical of the area’s flora. Its well balanced, long-lasting flavour and creamy texture and refined taste. Hay fed raw goat (Nanny) milk. Washed rind, semi-firm paste. Aged 2-3 months.
Haut-Richelieu has a thin, smooth washed rind in shades of pale orange, covered in a thin white mould. The paste starts off with soft beige tones at the edge of the wheel and becomes creamy white through the middle. The aroma has an earthy dampness that is sweet and clean, like a fresh field. The paste is mellow but flavourful, with subtle tangy goat character, a slight barny quality and a rounded, rich finish. The texture is as addictive as the taste – melt-in-the mouth. This smoothness is a quality of goat’s milk, which has smaller fat molecules than cow’s milk. This cheese is the goat milk version of the Noyan and is made of 100% goat milk. The cheese has a washed rind, supple body and a hay-like aroma. It has a nutty and fresh milk flavour. Pasteurized whole goat milk. Washed rind. Semi-firm. Aged 2-3months.