Goat Cheese

What is Goat Cheese?

Goat cheese, also known as chevre, is a type of cheese made from the milk of goats. It is a soft, crumbly cheese that is typically white or off-white. Goat cheese has a distinct tangy and slightly acidic flavor, which makes it a popular choice for adding flavor to dishes.

Goat cheese has been enjoyed for centuries and is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. Today, it is produced all over the world, with France being one of the biggest producers. Goat cheese is a versatile ingredient and is used in many dishes such as salads, pasta, and pizzas. It can also be used as a topping for crackers, bread, and sandwiches.

Goat cheese has a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other types of cheese. It is a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, making it a nutritious addition to any meal. However, goat cheese may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies.

Goat Cheese Production in the World.

Sudan is the top country producing Goat Cheese in the world. As of 2021, Sudan produced 90,641 tonnes of Goat Cheese, accounting for 19.72% of the total production. France is the world's second-largest Goat Cheese producer, with 87,860 tonnes, which represents 19.12% of the total production. Spain(63,620) is the 3rd country, Iran (Islamic Republic of)(37,784) is the 4th country, and Niger(37,021) is the 5th country in the world producing Goat Cheese. Slovakia has the lowest production of Goat Cheese in the world with only 29 tonnes in 2021. The world's total production of goat cheese was estimated at 459,631 tonnes in 2021.

Source: FAOSTAT

Top 10 countries by Goat Cheese Production in 2021

Top Countries by Production of Goat Cheese in 2021

Rank Country production(Tonnes)
1
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Sudan
90,641
2
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France
87,860
3
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Spain
63,620
4
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Iran (Islamic Republic of)
37,784
5
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Niger
37,021
6
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Greece
36,886
7
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Mexico
17,165
8
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Tajikistan
13,973
9
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Afghanistan
10,651
10
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Belgium
7,370
11
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Italy
7,100
12
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China
6,606
13
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Yemen
5,142
14
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Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
4,766
15
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Morocco
4,695
16
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Ukraine
4,151
17
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Portugal
3,470
18
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Syrian Arab Republic
3,025
19
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Iraq
2,630
20
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Bulgaria
2,019
21
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Lebanon
1,743
22
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Austria
1,493
23
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Chile
1,380
24
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Germany
1,153
25
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Peru
1,145
26
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Tunisia
1,126
27
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Albania
1,109
28
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Romania
1,010
29
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Norway
1,008
30
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Czechia
748
31
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Hungary
412
32
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Kazakhstan
295
33
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Cyprus
250
34
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Türkiye
155
35
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Slovakia
29

Regional Varieties of Goat Cheese

Goat cheese, also known as chèvre, is a cheese that is produced in many regions around the world, each with its unique characteristics and flavors.

Here are some of the most popular regional varieties of goat cheese:

  1. France: France is perhaps the most famous producer of goat cheese in the world. The most well-known varieties include the soft, tangy Chabichou du Poitou, the creamy, ash-covered Valençay, and the nutty-flavored Rocamadour.
  2. Spain: Spain is home to several varieties of goat cheese, including the tangy and crumbly Garrotxa, the creamy and slightly sweet Murcia al Vino, and the sharp and spicy Majorero from the Canary Islands.
  3. Greece: Greece is known for producing feta cheese, which is traditionally made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. Feta has a tangy, salty flavor and crumbly texture that makes it a popular addition to salads and other dishes.
  4. Italy: In Italy, goat cheese is often used in pasta dishes and as a topping for pizza. The most popular varieties include the soft and creamy Caprino, the tangy and crumbly Pecorino di Capra, and the nutty-flavored Robiola di Capra.
  5. United States: The production of artisanal goat cheese is popular in the United States. Some popular varieties include the tangy and crumbly Humboldt Fog, the creamy and buttery Belle Chevre, and the sweet and nutty Coach Farm Buchette.
  6. India: In India, goat cheese is commonly known as "chhena" and is made by curdling goat milk with lemon juice or vinegar. It is used as an ingredient in many Indian desserts such as rasgulla, ras malai, and sandesh.
  7. China: In China, goat cheese is known as "rù lí" or "yáng rù" and is typically made from the milk of Mongolian goats. It has a soft, creamy texture and a mild flavor. In some regions of China, goat cheese is used as a filling for dumplings or as a topping for noodles.

Process of Making Goat Cheese

The process of making goat cheese can vary depending on the type of cheese being produced, but here is a general overview of the steps involved:

  1. Milk Collection: The first step is to collect fresh goat milk. The milk can be sourced from a single goat or a herd of goats.
  2. Coagulation: The collected milk is then heated and mixed with a coagulant, such as rennet or vinegar, to help the milk solidify into curds.
  3. Draining and Pressing: Once the curd has formed, it is separated from the whey and drained using cheesecloth or a cheese mold. The curd may be pressed to remove excess moisture and create a firmer texture.
  4. Salting: After the curd has been drained, it may be salted to enhance the flavor and preserve the cheese.
  5. Aging: Depending on the type of goat cheese being produced, the cheese may be aged for several days or several months. During this time, the cheese develops its unique flavor and texture.
  6. Packaging: Once the cheese has reached its desired flavor and texture, it can be packaged and sold or consumed.

The process of making goat cheese requires careful attention to detail to ensure that the cheese is safe to eat and has a delicious flavor and texture.

Health Benefits of Goat Cheese

Goat cheese has several health benefits, some of which include:

  1. Easier to digest: Goat cheese is easier to digest than cheese made from cow's milk because it has a different protein and fat composition. It also contains less lactose, which makes it a good option for people who are lactose intolerant.
  2. Lower in calories and fat: Goat cheese is lower in calories and fat compared to many other types of cheese. This makes it a good option for people who are watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy diet.
  3. Good source of protein: Goat cheese is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.
  4. High in calcium: Goat cheese is a good source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
  5. Contains healthy fats: Although goat cheese is lower in fat compared to other cheeses, it still contains healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol levels.
  6. Rich in vitamins and minerals: Goat cheese is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin B, iron, and phosphorus.

Overall, goat cheese can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Nutritional Information of Goat Cheese

The nutrition content of goat cheese can vary depending on the type of cheese and the production process.

Here is an approximate breakdown of the nutritional content of goat cheese per 100 grams:

  • Calories: 364
  • Protein: 22.3 grams
  • Fat: 30.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 2.6 grams
  • Sodium: 424 milligrams
  • Calcium: 400 milligrams
  • Iron: 1.3 milligrams
  • Vitamin A: 625 International Units (IU)
  • Vitamin B12: 1.1 micrograms

It's worth noting that these values are approximate and can vary depending on the specific type and brand of goat cheese. Additionally, some types of goat cheese may contain additives or additional ingredients that can affect the nutrition content.

Types of Goat Cheese

There are many types of goat cheese, each with its unique flavor and texture. Here are some of the most popular types of goat cheese:

  1. Fresh Goat Cheese: Also known as chevre, this is a soft, tangy cheese that is commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and dips.
  2. Aged Goat Cheese: This type of cheese has been aged for several months, resulting in a firmer texture and a more complex flavor. Aged goat cheese can be crumbly or creamy and pairs well with fruits, nuts, and crackers.
  3. Goat Cheese Logs: These are cylindrical-shaped cheeses that are usually sold in a log shape. They can be coated in herbs, spices, or nuts for added flavor and texture.
  4. Goat Cheese Curds: These are small, bite-sized pieces of goat cheese that are similar in texture to cottage cheese. They are often used as a topping for salads or soups.
  5. Goat Cheese Wheels: These are round-shaped cheeses that can be soft, semi-soft, or hard. They can be eaten on their own or used as a topping for pizzas or pasta.
  6. Flavored Goat Cheese: Many types of goat cheese come in various flavors, such as garlic and herb, sun-dried tomato, or honey. These cheeses can be used in a variety of dishes or enjoyed on their own as a snack.

These are just a few examples of the many types of goat cheese available. Each type has its unique taste and texture, making goat cheese a versatile and delicious ingredient.

Uses of Goat Cheese

There are various dishes in which goat cheese can be utilized as a flexible ingredient. Here are some common uses of goat cheese:

  1. Salads: Goat cheese can be crumbled over salads to add a tangy flavor and creamy texture.
  2. Pizzas and flatbreads: Goat cheese can be used as a topping for pizzas and flatbreads, either on its own or in combination with other ingredients like vegetables and meats.
  3. Sandwiches and wraps: Goat cheese can be spread on bread or wraps to add flavor and creaminess to sandwiches.
  4. Appetizers: Goat cheese can be used as a base for dips and spreads, or rolled into bite-sized balls and coated in herbs or spices for an easy appetizer.
  5. Pasta dishes: Goat cheese can be used as a topping for pasta dishes or mixed into the sauce for added creaminess and flavor.
  6. Breakfast dishes: Goat cheese can be used as a topping for eggs or mixed into omelets and frittatas for added flavor and protein.

These are just a few examples of the many ways goat cheese can be used in cooking and baking. Its tangy, creamy flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes.