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Goat Milk from A to Z: 26 things to know

Goat Milk from A to Z: 26 things to know

What is the difference between goat milk and other milk? And which are its nutritional facts? Discover 26 facts and figures about goat milk you should know.

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Aroma. Cheese of various types is the prime product of goat milk. The first question that comes to mind, when presented with a goat milk cheese is: why does it have such a strong smell? This depends on the phenomenon of lipolysis, which breaks down the fatty molecules it is composed of and releases a very intense aroma.

Beer&Wine. As France is the homeland of goat cheese, then the perfect wine pairing is with Sauvignon Blanc. Surprisingly, however, sommeliers also recommend pairing goat cheese with beer: the best beer for this purpose is a pale and light wheat beer, with a sharp acidic note that teams up well with fresh goat cheese varieties.

Chèvre. Along with yogurt and butter, goat milk is used to produce some excellent cheese which differs in fat content, consistency and ripening times. They are not, however, so numerous and add up to about 50 different varieties in the world, most of which come from a single production area, that of France, home of the famous chèvre.

Differences. Goat milk differs from cow’s milk, primarily because of its taste which is stronger and more assertive, as well as a higher fat amount. It is also more nutritious and particularly rich in calcium and phosphorus. Goat milk is more digestible too, so there are very fewer side effects associated with its consumption.

Eastern Mediterranean. Dairy products made from goat milk are widely consumed in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries: one such product is Labneh, a cheese made from goat milk yogurt which is home-made and aromatized with fennel seeds, mild paprika, cumin and parsley, and then seasoned with salt and extra virgin olive oil.

Farmers. Similarly to the dairy producers who raise milk producing cattle breeds, goat breeders are also associated with particular areas: the most famous of these are the French and Italian Alps, but there are also well-known producers in Spain, Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, and Ireland, as well as in the United States, Australia, China, and Japan.

Gandhi. One of the best known historical anecdotes regarding goat milk has to do with the Mahatma Gandhi: it was the year 1919 and in order to recover from the various hunger strikes and fasting he had undertaken in the course of the years, it is narrated that goat milk was the cure that saved him. This was the only food Gandhi agreed to eat.

Humboldt Fog. Despite being a registered trademark, the term Humboldt identifies one of the most popular and famous goat milk cheeses in the world. Produced in California along the banks of the Humboldt river, its name immediately recalls its unique feature: a fine central layer of edible ash. It has won awards worldwide and is an extremely sought-after delicacy.

Ice cream. Goat milk makes excellent ice cream that is light and easy to digest: an authentic industry that is flourishing all over the world alongside traditional ice-cream made from cow’s milk.

Joddu. Joddu or Gioddu is the name in the Sardinian dialect of a type of fermented milk which comes from this Italian Island. Made from goat milk, it has a consistency that is even creamier than that of cow’s milk yogurt. What makes it quite unique is the fact that it contains autochthonous lactic cultures which originate from and exist only in Sardinia.

Kinder. Nurturing a goat, even at home or in a garden, for its milk production has become something of a green trend. But goats can even become pets: such is the case of the kinder breed, whose size and character makes it the most popular of all.

Lamanka. Of all the goat breeds used for milk and dairy production, the Lamancha is the most common in the United States, together with the European breeds: Alpine, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen and Toggenburg. The highest milk producer among dairy goats continues to be the Saanen which comes from Switzerland and, with its small build and short white coat, looks exactly the way we all imagine goats to be. They are in high demand because of their intensive milk production: 900 liters in 300 days.

Maquillage. Goat milk is an ancient beauty treatment. For this reason, there are several cosmetic houses in the world which have chosen to use goat milk in their products. Moisturizing creams, cleansing milk, masks to repair sun-damaged skin; they all recall the ancient rural tradition of using goat milk as a beauty aid, adopted by women since time immemorial.

Nutrition. Why is goat milk so different? It also depends on what goats eat: in fact, they feed off plant shoots and bark and this rather monotonous diet helps reduce the presence of any allergenic substances in its milk.

Olive oil. Chèvre cheese turns up in countless recipes but is often served diced and dressed with extra virgin olive oil, with the possible addition of spices and herbs which vary according to the geographical region: thyme and Mediterranean aromas or more assertive flavors the farther east you go. When marinated in oil, chèvre cheese keeps longer in a jar or vacuum pack.

Potatoes. One of the favorite comfort foods of English-speaking countries is mashed potatoes, often baked in the oven in the form of a flan, with the addition of garlic and goat cheese. This dish is popped into the oven with a gratin topping before serving.

Quiche. The typical French savory quiche teams up beautifully with goat cheese. The most popular combos? With tomatoes, lardons (diced bacon), mushrooms, ham or courgettes. This recipe calls for the fresher goat cheese varieties rather than the more mature versions.

Raw milk. Raw goat milk is more difficult to find in the shops compared to cow’s milk, but it is becoming increasingly popular. It is highly digestible – it takes just 30 minutes to assimilate a cup of it – and has alkaline properties, which means that it helps preserve the pH equilibrium of our organism.

Salad. Chèvre reigns supreme in salads! It can accompany a plain green salad marvelously or be the star ingredient of the most elaborate salad recipes. Enjoy it with chopped walnuts, enriched with poppy or sunflower seeds or add it to a salad with an assertive flavor such as a Greek-inspired concoction with tomatoes and olives. Goat cheese adds a special note to the simplest of dishes.

Truffles. Many goat kinds of cheese have an aftertaste that is reminiscent of truffle and, owing to this precise harmony of flavor, there are numerous gourmet goat cheese varieties on the market which are aromatized with this precious ingredient.

Ulcers. Thanks to its nutritional properties, goat milk is recommended as a natural relief and a way of preventing stomach ulcers.

Vitamins. Goat milk is packed with A, K, E, D and B group vitamins, as well as mineral salts and amino acids such as taurine, which has strong antioxidant properties, with benefits for the immune system and cardiovascular apparatus.

Watermelon. Looking for a bizarre but delicious combo for a very Mediterranean appetizer? Cubes of watermelon accompanied with goat cheese and a basil leaf. An original starter or appetizer that is fresh and summery. In some countries, it is even served as a… dessert!

Xtrachèvre Some producers define their dairy products made from goat milk as “extra”. This is the case of certain products with a more assertive taste, in which the term “extra” defines the purity of their preparation, based entirely on the best goat milk of a particular production area.

Yoga. Goat yoga: in the countless interpretations of yoga – each one stranger than the last – we now have goat yoga. The goat settles down, of its own accord, on the back of the class members, helping them to maintain their chosen position. Moreover, this relationship with the animal helps release a greater number of endorphins, which does wonders for your health and wellbeing.

Zabar’s This acclaimed specialty food store in New York City is known for its huge selection of cheese from all over the world: ask for goat cheese and you will be overcome by the number of excellent varieties, the best the market has to offer. It is no surprise, therefore, that this historical emporium appears in many famous films and TV series like The Simpsons and Sex and the City.

 

Are you now looking for some tasty recipes? Take a look at these 10 elegant and easy recipes with goat milk!

Have you ever tried goat ice cream? Follow our tips and taste it with figs and honey: you can't miss it.

 

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