Goats' cheese has been around longer than you might think. The hardy goat became crucial to the welfare of early man several thousands of years ago and there is evidence of its cheese being consumed as early as 6500 BC.Their ability to thrive on rough scrubland, with little or no pasture, meant that they were able to provide valuable clothing and food, and soon even became currency to our ancestors long before the more creature comfort-loving cow was domesticated.
Goats have a chequered history in Britain.They were brought from the Middle East in Neolithic times, but began to lose favour and were allowed to go feral when farmers replaced them with sheep in the Middle Ages.
Descendants of these early feral goats can still be found in the wilds of Snowdonia and Northumberland and even in the Valley of the Rocks on Exmoor. The current popularity of goats’ cheese probably owes more to the pleasure-seeking annual pilgrimages of modern Britons to France, where they encounter market stalls groaning with delicious cheeses of all shapes and sizes.
Goats’ cheese can often be dismissed as too strong, with flavours of the farm, which some can find unappealing. Not all goats’ cheese is the same, though.The soapy aftertaste that’s often found in the more industrial chèvre, is happily absent from artisan-made goats’ milk cheeses.
Instead, the flavour is more rounded, palatable and, importantly, enjoyable.
It is our belief that most people tend not to enjoy goats’ cheese from birth, so need to be nurtured with something light and easy to begin with. Once they’re introduced to this new world of sensory experience, they can develop their tastes with stronger goats’ cheese. Breaking this perception of the goat can be difficult in the beginning, but it’s worth it! Goats’ milk cheeses are lower in lactose, easier to digest, more flavoursome and, above all, comprise a more diverse range.
- A delicious, ripened, pasteurised, English goat log that is mellow and creamy.The Fine Cheese Co.£10.00