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Goat’s Cheese

While there are any number of cheeses that can be made with goat’s milk, only Chevre is truly known as goat’s cheese. Chevre is a fresh cheese that has an intense earthy flavor profile with a tangy kick to it that’s loved by those who like it, and abhorred by those who don’t. Those who don’t like chevre describe the taste to be “barnyard-like” as opposed to being “intensely earthy.” Depending on the age of the cheese, the texture can be light, creamy, and spreadable to being dense and crumbly as the cheese ages.

Goat's Cheese Trivia

  • Goat’s cheese is milder on the stomach as it is easier to digest because of the smaller size of fat globules in the milk.
  • The older the goat used for milking, the “goatier” the taste of the resulting cheese will be.
  • Chevre is the French word for “goat.”
  • Chevre is often best enjoyed a few days from production.
  • Goat’s cheese has relatively low lactose levels when compared to its cow’s milk cheese.
  • The taste of the goat’s milk heavily depends on the diet of the goat so don’t be surprised if the chevre has some slight flavor discrepancies depending on the location of production.

Goat's Cheese Buying Guide

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all chevre are alike. There are actually three main types of chevre and we’ll go over them so you can pick the right one for your taste and purpose.

  • Fresh Chevre – This is also known as fresh goat’s cheese. This is the most popular type of chevre as it is only aged for a few days before being consumed. This has a very creamy texture much like cream cheese or mascarpone.
  • Valençay – This chevre is also known as pyramide. This is also a fairly young cheese being aged for about three weeks. This has a citric taste that is fairly sharp and is usually shaped like small pyramids with a flat top.
  • Bûcheron – This is chevre that has been aged for five to ten weeks and has a stronger goat-y taste than the fresh and pyramide types.

Goat's Cheese Production & Farming in Texas

Since goats are much easier to raise than cows and many smaller farmsteads raise their own goats, it is not surprising that there are a lot of small artisan chevre producers in Texas. In fact, chevre is one of the most common artisan cheeses in the State. You can visit any farmers’ market and nine times out of ten you can find a local producer selling freshly made goat’s cheese.

As well as being able to find fresh chevre in farmers’ markets, many of the State’s top restaurants source their chevre from local producers because of the shorter travel times from farm to table.

On top of having fresh chevre available almost everywhere, many local artisans flavor the chevre with local herbs and spices. Some of the more popular local flavored chevre cheeses are:

  • Chipotle
  • Spicy Pecan
  • Chive
  • Dill-Onion
  • Cinnamon Honey
  • Garlic Chive

Packaging:

Depending on the type of chevre, the packaging can be in many different forms. It can be in vacuum-sealed bags, plastic tubs, plastic clamshells, or in glass jars which can be returned to the producer for refilling.

Eating Goat's Cheese

Chevre can be enjoyed in a number of different ways. Here are just some of the ways how to enjoy this versatile and delicious treat.

  • In Cheese Platters – This is one of the best ways to enjoy the different types of chevre as you can clearly taste the progression of taste of the different aged chevre. Start with the freshest chevre and move up in terms of cheese age. Just remember to let the chevre warm down to room temperature before consuming it.
  • As a spread on baguettes – Since chevre is a French cheese by origin, it would follow that it would taste great with French bread as well. Just don’t forget to do as the French do and enjoy your snack with a nice glass of wine.
  • On Pasta and Pizza Dishes – Chevre softens when heated but it won’t totally melt or liquefy, this makes it perfect for use on pasta and pizza.

 

Storage:

For commercial chevre in airtight packaging, it can be stored in the fridge for up to three months or up to the best-by date indicated on the packaging. For freshly made chevre, try to finish it within a week as exposure to air can easily dry out the cheese and make the exterior hard.

How Is Chevre Made?

Chevre is made the same way as any other cow’s cheese. For more information on how to make cheese, check out our Promptuary entry on Cheese for a basic rundown. There are many smaller cheesemakers and farms that offer basic chevre making classes that can be completed in a day, these are worthwhile experiences for anyone who is interested in making their own cheese at home.

How to Pair Cheese and Wine:

This can’t be said with many cheese varieties but one of the best pairings for chevre is beer. Yes, beer, the golden nectar of the gods.

Traditionally, chevre is paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc.

Even though the rule of thumb would be to pair stronger cheeses with more acidic wines, goat cheese is a fairly acidic cheese and everyone knows that acidic food + acidic wine can be harsh on the palate. One solution to that is to pair chevre with beer. Beer is a lot less acidic than the mildest wines and the fizz/carbonation in the beer easily cut through the fattiness of the cheese, allowing you to taste more of the flavors of the cheese. Not only that, but the fattiness of the chevre will also allow you to taste more of the flavors of the beer, so if you have it, get a nice crisp craft lager to go with your chevre.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 75 4%
  • Carbs: 0.2g 0%
  • Sugar: 0.2g
  • Fiber: 0g 0%
  • Protein: 5.2g 10%
  • Fat: 5.9g 9%
  • Saturated Fat: 4.1g 21%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 12.9g 4%
  • Sodium 103mg 4%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin A 289IU 6%
  • Calcium 39.2mg 4%
  • Iron 0.5mg 3%
  • Potassium 7.4mg 0%
  • Vitamin B6 0.1mg 4%
  • Vitamin E 0.1mg 0%
  • Vitamin K 0.5mcg 1%
  • Vitamin B12 0.1mcg 1%
  • Folate 3.4mcg 1%
  • Magnesium 4.5mg 1%
  • Phosphorus 71.7mg 7%
  • Zinc 0.3mg 2%

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