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Thread: What does goat cheese taste like?

  1. #1
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    Question What does goat cheese taste like?

    Please forgive my naivete on this subject. DH has been very good about trying new things and tasting new foods. However, he draws the line at goat cheese, so therefore, I've never even tried it. He makes these gagging sounds whenever he sees it on a menu (yeah, a bit childish), so even at a restaurant I've never tried it.

    Is goat cheese really that different in taste? If I snuck it in a dish would DH really be able to tell? Is feta close in taste to goat cheese? (I know you can get feta made with goat's milk.)

    Anyway, I would appreciate any and all comments on this one. Maybe I'll take the dive and buy some. . . . and if you could also advise what brand/type is best to try for the first time.

    Thanks!!!!

    Muriel
    Springtime is my time of year!

  2. #2
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    I'll go with "tangy cream cheese." It's not excessively salty; I love it, but I'm hard-pressed to describe it!

  3. #3
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    Here's what Epicurious has to say on the subject:

    chèvre cheese
    [SHEHV-ruh; SHEHV]
    French for "goat," chèvre is a pure white goat's-milk cheese with a delightfully tart flavor that easily distinguishes it from other cheeses. Some of the better known chèvres include BANON, BÛCHERON and MONTRACHET. "Pur chèvre" on the label ensures that the cheese is made entirely from goat's milk; others may have the addition of cow's milk. Chèvres can range in texture from moist and creamy to dry and semifirm. They come in a variety of shapes including cylinders, discs, cones and pyramids, and are often coated in edible ash or leaves, herbs or pepper. Store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Old chèvre takes on a sour taste and should be discarded.

    I think goat cheese does have a very distinctive flavor. It's creamier than feta, and usually not as salty. If your husband has actually had some and didn't like the taste, I think you'd be hard pressed to sneak it past him. However, if he has never had it but just *thinks* he won't like it, I think you could try a recipe that uses it and not tell him what it is. I personally LOVE chevre. Mmmmm.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Robyncz
    I think goat cheese does have a very distinctive flavor. It's creamier than feta, and usually not as salty. If your husband has actually had some and didn't like the taste, I think you'd be hard pressed to sneak it past him. However, if he has never had it but just *thinks* he won't like it, I think you could try a recipe that uses it and not tell him what it is. I personally LOVE chevre. Mmmmm.
    Ditto!

  5. #5
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    I find the description above about it being like cream cheese pretty accurate. It is distinctive, yet mild. Slightly tangy and very creamy. I never thought I would like it, until my MIL served goat cheese crumbles in a salad (I don't like feta and associated it with that, which is nothing like it) and they were delicious.

    Try it and see if you like it, then serve it to DH and see if he likes it.

    There was a cooking light recipe for goat cheese and red bean quesadillas awhile back, if I can find my copy of it I will post (they were great).

    Also, here is a recipe that Karen M made for our supper club last week and it was delicious (and since it is blended you don't even know it is goat cheese).

    Roasted Red Pepper Dip

    11 ounces goat cheese, softened
    3 ounces Cream cheese, softened
    3 red peppers, Roasted and Peeled (or use the jarred kind)
    2 Tablespoons Milk or Cream
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

    Reserve 1/2 of 1 roasted pepper. Place remaining peppers in blender or food processor and process until chopped. Add cheeses and milk and process till smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in reserved red pepper (chopped). Garnish with parsley. Serve with crudite and toasted pita wedges.


    Lisa

  6. #6
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    I'm with your DH

    I will risk being banned from the board (just kidding, I know you are all loving and accepting of those with different tastes), to say:"ya know the smell of dirty socks? That's how I describe the taste of goat cheese". I've tried it a few times and each time have wanted to be like Tom Hanks in the movie Big when he tasted caviar and then was trying to wipe his tongue off with a napkin.
    Having said that, I would still taste the dip that Lrimerman posted, because I would want to believe that I couldn't taste the goat cheese. So maybe something like that would get by DH. I'd never risk making the dip without tasting it someplace else first, though. Katie

  7. #7
    I'm putting my vote in for goat cheese. I quite like the taste and texture. I don't compare it to feta -- I really don't like the taste of feta. If there's anything that tastes like old socks, it's feta. I like to think of goat cheese as a cheese for adults -- a bit sophisticated. Goes well with olives and a nice glass of red wine.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by knunes
    "ya know the smell of dirty socks? That's how I describe the taste of goat cheese".
    This reminds me of the days when I thought brie smelled like garbage. I got over it , though, and now I love it.

    Muriel, unless you and your DH always share one item in restaurants, I think a restaurant would be a very good place for you to try goat cheese. Restaurants generally use a mild chevre. If they've got a warm goat cheese salad, go for it. If you buy it to try at home, be aware that all chevre doesn't taste the same, and you might like one and not another.

  9. #9
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    I also think trying it in a warm goat cheese salad at a restaurant is the way to go. Otherwise, the brand called "Chavrie" that comes in a pyramid-shaped box is the mildest brand I have ever had, and it has never tasted "musty" to me, as some of them can taste.
    To me, the taste of the Chavrie brand is like a tangy cream cheese. It is not the most authentic, but a good place to start if you are scared!
    P.S. I like my goat cheese crumbled in salads and on top of hot pasta. Martha

  10. #10
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    sounds like you have your answer here, but I thought I would chime in late anyway...

    DH absolutely loves feta cheese but he dislikes goat cheese. I am surprised by that because I think they are kinda similar. Apparetnly not similar enough for the DH, though. I do admit they each have their own distinctive flavors, though. I guess I just consider them similar due to their sharp/strong flavors. If your DH has tried and disliked goat cheese, there isn't any way for you to sneak it past him. Believe me, I have tried sneaking it by my own DH with no success.

  11. #11
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    Its definitely an acquired taste.

    For years I, too, would not eat goat cheese because I thought it tasted like dirty socks. But when my 2nd son had a milk sensativity, and I breast fed, I had to cut out all dairy. That is when I started to like it. I don't squeal with delight at the thought of it, but I do eat and cook with it.

    If your husband likes feta, I'd try to sneak it in and pretend it was feta. If he won't even eat that, I'd take Clover's suggestion of trying it in a restaraunt. They are usually experts at cooking it and it almost always tastes great. You could tell him that if he tries goat cheese with out making baby noises, than you'll give him a foot rub. One stinky sock for another! ha ha
    kim

    "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." -Charlie Brown

  12. #12
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    There can be an enormous difference between various goat cheeses, just like there can be big differences between various cow's-milk cheeses -- so don't give up on the entire concept until you've tried at least a couple.

    I love mild goat cheeses, but don't care as much for the very strong, assertive ones. A mild goat cheese is very much like a tangy cream cheese, and not too far from a cow's-milk cheese.

    I'd second Martha recommendation for Chavrie as a "starter" cheese -- it's very mild, and is widely available in supermarkets. They also make a "garlic and basil" variety that is quite tasty. If you were so inclined, I'd bet you could sub this in a recipe and your husband might not even notice. Several years ago, I brought some Chavrie and crackers to a pot-luck at my old workplace -- one woman, who was one of the pickiest eaters I've ever known, wolfed down about 5 crackers loaded with the Chavrie, thinking it was a "regular" cheese spread. Then, I mentioned that it was goat cheese -- you should have seen the look on her face!

    Another excellent, mild goat cheese is made by the Vermont Butter and Cheese Company. They make a nice chevrie log, and also a spreadable cheese called Impastata, which also comes in flavors -- red pepper, olive, etc. A little more goat-y than Chavrie, but not at all gamey. You can get it at Trader Joe's, Wild Oats (oops -- almost typed "Wild Goats!"), and Whole Foods.

    If you're looking for a good recipe, I'd recommend the Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese that was in CL this past summer -- think it was July.

    Enjoy,

    Helene
    "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
    --President Barack Obama, 1/20/09

  13. #13
    I was going to say "dirty socks" but didn't want to be rude. Since Knunes already said it, well.......

  14. #14
    goat cheese is one of my favorites!

    it is so creamy & buttery, with a tang.

    my dbf never tried it either, and i ordered it at a tapas restaurant, and he unwillingly tried it, and he loved it!

    we made some for a snack this weekend in fact. took leanne's idea from a previous thread. very good:

    This couln't be easier or tastier.

    get a small baking dish that looks pretty enough to serve in.

    Put goat cheese (not crumbled kind - get the kind you can slice or dollup) on the bottom. pour a jar of spaghetti sauce over it.
    Heat until cheese is melty.
    Serve with crusty bread.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Clover

    Muriel, unless you and your DH always share one item in restaurants, I think a restaurant would be a very good place for you to try goat cheese. Restaurants generally use a mild chevre. If they've got a warm goat cheese salad, go for it. If you buy it to try at home, be aware that all chevre doesn't taste the same, and you might like one and not another.
    We don't always share at a restaurant (although portion sizes sometimes dictate we do), but the immature gagging sounds that he makes . . .

    Anyway, the dip looks great, and maybe I can do that. I also have some smoked salmon, so maybe I sneak the salmon in a dip with cream cheese and goat cheese, too.
    Springtime is my time of year!

  16. #16
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    Thanks again everyone!

    I have had goat cheese in a salad dressing that I used to buy in Ontario.... Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese. I don't think you really taste any cheese in that, let alone goat cheese. But I like the roasted red pepper, which you could really taste.

    DH is usually pretty good about trying new things, but this is one thing that is going to have to be a sneak attack.
    Springtime is my time of year!

  17. #17
    Originally posted by muriel3002


    DH is usually pretty good about trying new things, but this is one thing that is going to have to be a sneak attack.
    Please report back! I am very interested to know how the sneak attack goes.

  18. #18
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    I think someone already mentioned this, but there are lots and lots of different kinds of goat's milk cheeses. So, it you don't like the crumbly, pyramid-shaped box chevre, try some others. There are goat's milk cheeses that are sliceable. Most I've tried do have a distinctive tart flavor. I've found that Whole Foods tends to stock a wide variety of goat's milk cheeses. They usually have very knowledgeable and helpful people working the cheese section. We have a habit of picking up cheeses there, liking it, but not being able to remember the names the next time we're in the store (which is why I havent' given you a list of 5 different goat's cheeses to try :-)

    Another recommendation....we just bought The Cheese Lovers Bible. Absolutely fabulous educational and reference book if you're in the mood to get adventurous with cheeses. We have yet to actually carry it to the store with us, but it's a really useful book.

  19. #19
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    What a coincidence that this thread came up. I made the black bean and goat cheese quesadillas last night (being new to goat cheese), and I'd have to say that after tasting that, goat cheese is now at the top of my most-disliked foods list . It's worse than smelly socks - it's moldy-hockey-gear-that-hasn't-been-washed-in-15-years bad . I love feta cheese, parmesan, gouda, extra-sharp cheddar and asiago, but I draw the line at goat cheese. Yeuck!!! There are other foods I dislike, but hope to one day someday like (such as olives) - goat cheese isn't one of them. 'Nuff said.

  20. #20
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    clara,

    when I made that recipe for DH, he said that he'd like it much better with feta. that was the first time he ever told me he much preferred feta cheese to goat cheese.

    val

  21. #21

    Cool

    I think it tastes... um... goaty. I will eat it, but I can probably live a long, healthy life without it.

    Hopefully you will feel otherwise.

  22. #22
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    If you have Laura Chenel's Chevre available locally, I'd recommend it as a first goat cheese. I used to enjoy goat cheese in restaurants but not like it when I bought it myself. Laura Chenel's was the first one I liked. It has a nice tang, but is mild.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by ClaraB
    What a coincidence that this thread came up. I made the black bean and goat cheese quesadillas last night (being new to goat cheese), and I'd have to say that after tasting that, goat cheese is now at the top of my most-disliked foods list . It's worse than smelly socks - it's moldy-hockey-gear-that-hasn't-been-washed-in-15-years bad . I love feta cheese, parmesan, gouda, extra-sharp cheddar and asiago, but I draw the line at goat cheese. Yeuck!!! There are other foods I dislike, but hope to one day someday like (such as olives) - goat cheese isn't one of them. 'Nuff said.
    OMG, I am ROTFLMAO!!!!!

    Gee, Clara, why don't you tell us what you really think!

    I guess that goat cheese is a love it or hate it thing. Good thing that DH and I both love it.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  24. #24
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    Just piping up to keep the balance...

    Both DH and I ADORE goat cheese!!

  25. #25
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    Smile My vote - yum

    Goat cheese is YUMMY in this recipie. I had this as an appetizer at a restaraunt one time and started making it at home because it was so simple:

    1 bottle of chunky marinara sauce (like Classico Tomato Basil & Parmesan)
    1 goat cheese pyramid (I think they're about 1/2 cup)
    1/4 c parmesan cheese

    Put the marinara in a shallow bowl suitable for baking, put the goat cheese in the middle of the bowl (don't mix or cut it up). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes until the whole thing is heated up and a little bit toasty. Serve hot or warm, with toasted baguette slices and a spoon for scooping.

  26. #26
    I like mild goat cheese. At first I thought the texture was a little funny... chalky, I guess. But now I love it, especially the way it just melts into other foods!

    I had two recent experiences with goat cheese, one good, one bad. The first was a salad with arugula, piquillo peppers, pistacios, and goat cheese. I was expecting the mild, soft cheese, but these were slices with the texture of aged cheddar. The taste was definitely goat cheese, though, and I loved it.

    The other was a goat cheese that was served at a friend's house. It was a deep caramel color. I had a hard time swallowing it. DH, who likes the creamy goat cheese, also disliked it. I'd never seen nor heard of goat cheese like that before... does anyone know what it is?

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by gertdog
    I

    The other was a goat cheese that was served at a friend's house. It was a deep caramel color. I had a hard time swallowing it. DH, who likes the creamy goat cheese, also disliked it. I'd never seen nor heard of goat cheese like that before... does anyone know what it is?
    Was this it?
    gjetost cheese
    YEHT-ohst Made from a combination of goat's- and cow's-milk WHEY, this Norwegian cheese is faintly sweet and caramel colored. The texture can range from semifirm like fudge to the consistency of stiff peanut butter. The brown color and sweetness result from slowly cooking the milk until its sugars caramelize. Gjetost is particularly good spread on dark bread. Scandinavia's mysost cheese (also called primost) is made exclusively from cow's milk in exactly the same way and tastes almost identical to gjetost.

  28. #28
    Hmmm, it could have been. It definitely had a fudge-like consistency. I don't think you could have spread it on bread. Thanks for the info!

  29. #29
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    One thing I'd recommend before buying goat cheese...

    Since it's such a "love it or hate it" kind of thing and there are many types that taste so differently, I'd recommend going to a nice deli or cheese store. Most of these will let you sample different types of cheeses...then you can see if you like goat cheese!

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