Goat’s Cheese: From Ancient Delicacy to Modern Sensation

Goat’s cheese might sound like just another trendy new food ‘fad’, but its popularity goes back to ancient times. Back when humans were nomadic, goats were preferred to cows, which were more difficult and cumbersome to manage. Goat pelts provided much needed warmth, and their milk and meat were a major source of food.

Eventually, one observant human must’ve noticed the curdled milk that was stored in a bag fashioned by the animal stomach, and was brave enough to eat the solid parts floating in the milk. And just like that – cheese was born. People quickly started to replicate the process and create solid milk products. Not only was it tasty, but it was a simple and effective way of preserving milk without refrigeration, which was incredibly useful to our ancient, nomadic ancestors.

Since that time, cheese has become a delicacy the world over, and there are hundreds of varieties of cheese to try. Cows have now overtaken goats are the preferred source of milk, largely because cows are better producers of milk in large quantities for mass consumption. However, people are starting to rediscover their ancient heritage and become hooked on goat’s milk and cheese again, appreciating it as a tastier, and often healthier, alternative to cow products.

How is Chevre made?

Since the early cheese-discovery days, humans have made plenty of improvements to our cheese manufacturing processes. There’s now a simple, tried-and-true method to making the delicious fresh goats cheese known as chevre, from the french word for goat.

In short; you take the goat’s milk, heat it up, then mix in cultures and rennet (curdled milk from the stomach of an animal, which contains rennin). Setting it aside for a while will separate the curds from whey, at which point you add in some salt and then wait until your delicious goat’s cheese is ready to devour. This basic method can then be altered to experiment with other delicious flavour variations.

The chevre should look a bit like feta – the ever-popular white, crumbly cheese that people love sprinkling on food to give it that “Mediterranean” effect. Though the two cheeses share some similarities, feta is traditionally firmer, saltier and is traditionally from sheep’s milk, so has a very different taste to goat’s milk cheese. When the milk has been crafted in an environment for optimal taste (as it is by the expert producers on Robur Farm), you’ll get a delicious, smooth and unique-tasting cheese.

What do I use goat’s cheese for?

Chevre cheese can replace anything that you’d use a feta cheese for. Beautiful with olives and on Mediterranean dishes, it also works a treat on pizza and in pasta. Though similar to feta, you will notice a difference in flavour. Feta is salty and sharp, while fresh goat’s cheese is typically softer and sweeter. There’s a series of Mediterranean-themed recipes that use goat’s cheese as the “hero” of the dish that are worth treating your tastebuds to.

Robur Farm has crafted its chevre to make it spreadable so it is great spread on toast with avocado and eggs, added to your salad sandwich or used as an alternative to a dip.

Goat’s cheese is also considered a healthier alternative to cow’s milk products, particularly for those who struggle to digest traditional dairy. Want to indulge in a decadent dairy dessert that won’t upset sensitive stomachs? Try this incredible goat’s cheese, honey, and cinnamon cheesecake recipe.

Why we love chevre

Chevre cheese is an endlessly versatile and useful component in cooking. It’s convenient to make and store, and its flavour is the perfect complement to many of your favourite dishes. Once upon a time, our ancestors relied a great deal on goats for sustenance. And now, after hundreds of years, we’re rediscovering all this ancient food source has to offer.