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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Getting My Goat

Since I mentioned my new-found love for goat cheese, I thought I'd post about it.

I love cheese, but I'm picky. I like cheddar, natural cheddar, Colby, cream, Havarti, and Brie. My previous favorite was Havarti. My new fave: goat.

I can't describe myself as being adventurous about food. I have to be able to stand looking at something if I'm going to eat it. I'll try things if they sound like they taste good. This is how I learned that "crudites" is just a fancy-sounding word for raw veggies. Chopped raw veggies are sometimes affordable, but if you slap that word "crudites" on the menu, forget it.

Goat cheese is not something I ever thought I'd like. Goat doesn't sound tasty to me because I grew up hearing that they eat any and every nasty thing they can get their teeth on. And it's cultural. I grew up with cow milk, so the idea of eating cheese made of goat milk (or even moose milk!) is one I had to creep up on.

A family friend came into town with my niece for a visit. For the Fourth of July, she made some beautiful trays of hors d'oeuvres: sausages, pickled veggies, olives (yay!), garlic (yay!), and different cheeses. She sweetened the normally tart goat cheese with a touch of honey.

Oh my heavens! That was the best cheese I have ever let touch my tongue. (Thank you, Jamie!)

So, while shopping yesterday, I wanted to get some more goat cheese. So many brands and labels... I chose one based on best price:

Tastes good plain or with honey
(or jam or marmalade)

Then I saw this one and just had to have it-

- but I was getting over my grocery budget (or whatever it is you want to call the miniscule amount of money I get to spend on food). My sister, bless her, got it for me as a treat. I love my sister. Now I love this cheese.

Probably because I'm not cultured enough (see what I did there?), I can't really describe the taste of this cheese. For both the plain and candied, I can say that they are really super creamy and richly textured. The one with the cranberries and orange peel has the tart under taste that is yummy with the fruits. I mixed the plain cheese one with a touch of honey. That was how I tried it at our get-together. What I can't wait to do is just try the cheese plain with no sweeteners.

What's nice is that, apparently, goat cheese has lots of nutritional benefits. Here's one person's experience with (and info on) goat's milk products.

Because I like the cheese so much, I want to try the milk. I've been using soy milk, but I'm always open to alternatives and choices when it comes to flavor and health benefits.

Maybe we need to try all of them?

flavor & preference count
I've read some good things about goat's milk being beneficial to bone health and the immune system. That's a huge plus for me. I'm not ready for sheep milk yet, but I think variety is good. The main considerations are health and tolerance. Flavor is a big plus. I'll try almost anything that's going to help me heal and feel better. I've tried lots of milks. I wasn't crazy about rice milk and I only like using coconut milk as a sweetener, recipe addition or for cosmetic uses. Almond milk is about the same as vanilla soy for me. I don't drink it, I just use it in cereals and smoothies.

Now that I'm hip to goat's cheese, I'm looking forward to using it on baking recipes. I just know that it's right up there with cream cheese as pastry filling or cake frosting.  As soon as I get settled in "Mayberry" and have the kitchen set up, I'm stocking up on the cheeses and milks.


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