Indian goat cheese is the new kid on the block (2023)

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Indian cheesemakers are realizing the commercial potential of artisan goat cheese

Indian goat cheese is the new kid on the block (1)

Since goats are still grass-fed, their milk is considered healthier than that of cows. Photo: iStock

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Lieutenant Priti David

LAST PUBLICATION26.08.2018|12h34 IST

Historically, the first goat cheese dates back to 7000 BC. C., when prehistoric nomadic goat herders made a version to store surplus goat milk. Over the past five years, there has been a surge of interest in bringing “village” food to the urban table, and a number of small businesses have sprung up to fill the void. Artisan goat cheese is gradually beginning to replace pricey French Chèvre on gourmet menus across the country.

Goat milk contributes 3% of total milk production in India, says Sagari Ramdas, a veterinary scientist and member of Food Sovereignty Alliance India. Goats produce 0.5 to 2 liters of milk per day for a little over half a year, and one liter of raw milk is needed to obtain 100 g of cheese. Most of the goat farming is carried out by small companies that do not have the necessary means for pasteurization. They find it easier to sell the milk locally rather than try to store and transport it, with the risk of bacterial contamination. In fact, the scale of operation is so limited that the Department of Dairy, Livestock and Fisheries doesn't even have a production estimate.

Goat farms focus on meat, not milk, so the milk supply is small and intermittent. Travel through rural India and you will find grazing goats and sheep. Indigenous breeds such as the Jamunapari, Tellicherry, Beetal and Jakhrana are farmed for the value of their meat, and this is considered a stable livelihood for many communities.

Goat milk is traditionally left to the kid and only a fraction is used by herders or those who believe in its specific health benefits. Ramdas says that milk and cheese production is a high-investment, high-risk venture for a marginal small farmer, and therefore only those with deep pockets or a specific interest in goat milk are likely to get involved. Until then, most of the goat farming will be done for meat.

Naturally, in the hallowed world of dairy, cow's milk cheese dominates the market. Cheesemakers like ABC Farms, Kodai Cheese and Bengaluru-based Vistara Farms are stepping in and looking to increase their share of the goat cheese business from the current 1-5% to a respectable 15%. Not only will it help your healthy eating image, but it's also considered a safe alternative for those with cow's milk allergies, though there's no final word on that.

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Goat cheese has similar "health" benefits as milk, but can be stored longer. Spicier and creamier than cheese made from cow's milk, it has a smoky flavor and peculiar acidity. “It has notes of hay and a barnyard smell. It's a very real earthy and 'goat' smell," says Aditya Raghavan, a Mumbai-based cheesemaker and physicist who has created artisan cheeses not only from cow, buffalo and goat milk, but also from yak (churu) and milk. camel." Very few goats are fed in stalls, mostly they graze outdoors. This is an advantage because their milk is considered 'free' and organic," he adds.

Preference is given to artisan cheeses with milk from small farms, from a single animal species, worked by hand and often made to measure. In recent years, bulk cheese made from cow's milk has become very price sensitive. Hari Shankar, managing director of Kodai Cheese, a $The Rs 15 crore cow's milk cheese business in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu made the radical decision to exit the bulk cheese industry almost 10 years ago as margins were continually shrinking. He has since switched to artisan cheeses, including goat cheese, where he says the margins are much better.

Artisan cheesemakers looking for new ideas are finding possibilities in goat's milk beyond feta and chèvre. ABC Farms in Pune already has Gouda and Gorgonzola made from goat's milk and is experimenting with more custom cheeses.

The growing supply of goat cheese follows the changing profile of the consumer, tired of mozzarella and cheddar, now seen as everyday cheeses. Traveling abroad has opened up our taste buds. Food fairs, well-stocked upscale grocery stores in metropolitan cities, and the fact that even your neighborhood kirana will probably have more than just cheddar cheese are making us aware of the
difference between pecorino and parmigiano-reggiano.

Sohrab Chinoy, CEO of ABC Farms, describes his company as a "cheese boutique" and says he makes goat cheese to order, like most of his other cheeses — 70 varieties in all. He has experimented with a goat's milk Rocquefort (originally made from sheep's milk) and a French chèvre with great success. Having a restaurant business next to the cheese shop allows him to experiment with different flavors and work on feedback.

The newest artisan cheese maker experimenting with goat cheese is Bengaluru-based Vistara Farms, which has invested in two goat farms near Mysuru. They are educating consumers about the strengths of goat's milk products by providing literature at all of their outlets; They also offer samples. “Unless people try it and see that it doesn't have a foul odor, we're not going to get any sales,” says R. Chetan Kumar, Vistara Farms' director of marketing.

Kodai Cheese's Shankar is optimistic about the future of goat cheese. He says: “The market is ready; just look at how imported goat cheese is sold. There are only a few players, so it is a great business opportunity. He has two goat's milk cheeses on the market: the softer chèvre and a feta made from 10% goat's milk and the rest from cow's milk. He says that the local hill station consumes all of his produce.

Vistara Farms started out by selling goat's milk in a few shops in Bangalore, but soon realized that milk is the most perishable dairy product and without a stable market, it would not survive. They have geared their milk production towards cheese, which has a longer shelf life. Cheese is expensive and they had to lower the price of the 100g package $465 and $310 to encourage sales. The company also sought products with a longer shelf life, such as lower-priced goat's milk chocolate and yogurt, to gain market share. Its yogurt has already taken off under the Basta brand in flavors like chikoo, soft coconut, honey banana and pineapple. They also plan to grow from the current 250 goats to a 3,000 goat farm in the next few years.

On the demand side, goat cheese started well, but supply could be a bottleneck. "If someone asks me for 50 kg of cheese, where am I going to get 500 liters of goat's milk?" Chinoy says.

Manufacturers say they are getting calls from city chefs asking for regular supplies, and the retail market is picking up. It may be niche for now, but given its growing popularity, it's unlikely to stay that way.

Photo: iStock

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Apples

serve 4


4 large apples
100 g chèvre (soft goat cheese)
spoon of cinnamon powder
cup of raisins and chopped nuts
4 tablespoons of raw honey


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Soften the goat cheese in a bowl, pressing it several times with a fork. If the cheese is dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt. Mix the cinnamon powder. With a small knife, cut off the ends of the apples. save them.

Cut the apple cores and fill with the goat cheese mixture to the top. Cover apples with lids and bake for 30 minutes*.

Remove from oven, remove lids, and add raisins and chopped walnuts. Bake for another 4-5 minutes, until the nuts are toasted.

Serve hot and drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey per apple, on top and down the sides.

Note: If the apples do not stand up, place them in individual ramekins.

—Aditya Raghavan

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What is the story behind goat cheese? ›

Goat Cheese originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East in areas where goats were more plentiful than cows, especially in areas with rough terrain. Goat Cheese as a delicacy was embraced by the people of France's Loire Valley in the 8th Century, a region that today is well known for its chevre.

How long does a block of goat cheese last? ›

Once you get home, goat cheese will keep in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 2 to 3 weeks. Store soft or semi-soft cheese in a resealable plastic container. For semi-hard cheeses, wrap in parchment or wax paper and then in foil or plastic wrap to prevent from drying out.

Does goat cheese have a name? ›

Goat cheese, or chèvre in French, is a highly versatile cheese. Like Feta, it has been made for thousands of years. Unlike feta, goat cheese is made using – you guessed it – goat milk. There are many varieties of chèvre, each with its own characteristics.

Why is goat cheese so good? ›

A serving of goat cheese delivers 6 grams of filling protein along with a powerful combination of calcium, phosphorus and copper — nutrients that are essential for healthy bones ( 2 ). Plus, goat cheese provides healthy fats, including medium-chain fatty acids, that can improve satiety and benefit weight loss ( 3 ).

What country invented goat cheese? ›

Origin: Thought to have been first made in the Loire Valley in France, goat's cheese has roots in other parts of the world, from Asia and Europe, to South and North America.

Is goat story based on a true story? ›

The new film Goat, based on Brad Land's 2004 memoir about pledging Clemson University's Kappa Sigma fraternity in the late 1990s, offers an unflinching view of Greek life. Land said the film adaptation, directed by Andrew Neel and starring Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer, was so accurate it brought back painful memories.

Can you eat goats cheese raw? ›

Interestingly, the fatty acids in Raw Goat Cheese are metabolized faster in the body than cow's cheese, which means that the body gets full faster. Researchers found that consuming raw goat cheese helps people feel less hungry, more satiated, and overall eat less.

Is goat cheese OK if not refrigerated? ›

Soft cheeses such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, shredded cheeses, and goat cheese must be refrigerated for safety. As a general rule, hard cheeses such as cheddar, processed cheeses (American), and both block and grated Parmesan do not require refrigeration for safety, but they will last longer if kept refrigerated.

Can you eat goats cheese cold? ›

It is often served cold or at room temperature. The creamy texture of the cheese complements well with other ingredients in the salad.

Which country makes the best goat cheese? ›

The Five Best Goat's Cheeses in the World
  • Manouri, Greece. This smooth-textured, snow-white cheese originates from western Macedonia and Thessaly in northern Greece. ...
  • Ticklemoore, United Kingdom. ...
  • Crottin de Chavignol, France. ...
  • Scimudin, Italy. ...
  • Kilembe, South Africa.

Is goat cheese healthier than regular cheese? ›

Goat cheese is a source of protein, calcium, and healthy fats. And it may be easier to digest than cow's milk cheese. Some of the fat in goat cheese comes from capric acid, a beneficial medium-chain fatty acid with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is it OK to eat goat cheese everyday? ›

Goat cheese can be high in fat, though not as high as cheeses made from cow's milk. Nevertheless, you should still consume it in moderation to avoid weight gain.

Which is healthier feta or goat cheese? ›

“Goat cheese is milder in flavor than feta, but also tends to be lower in calories as well as fat.” Depending on how it's processed, goat cheese can also pack probiotics, which are microorganisms that can aid digestion.

Does goat cheese cause inflammation? ›

Goat and sheep's milk also contain the more easily digestible A2 beta-casein , which is a big part of the reason they're less likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms and inflammatory responses when consumed.

Who brought the first goat to America? ›

Goats were first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and then spread throughout the world. Goats were brought to North America into the southwestern U.S. in the 17th century by early Spanish explorers and clergy. These goats are the ancestors of the Spanish goat of Texas and the Lamancha breed of California.

Why is goat cheese controversial? ›

The male babies are killed for meat. Male goats are a byproduct of the milk industry, and since they can't produce milk, they're raised and slaughtered for their flesh. A vegetarian diet, which includes cheese but not meat, still supports slaughter.

What state produces the most goat cheese? ›

It's not only the sheer size of Wisconsin's dairy goat herd that stands out: The state also leads the nation in the value of sales from dairy goat operations and is the epicenter of national growth in goat dairy.

How many kids did the goat have? ›

An average goat can rear well two kids. Goats are known to give birth to as many as five kids at a time, but birth of such large numbers affects the health of the goat. The incidence of twinning varies with the breed, environment and number of kidding.

What was the hazing in goat? ›

As a new pledge, or “goat,” he's kept awake for days at a time and force-fed alcohol and hot sauce. At one point, he's encouraged to do unprintable things to an animal. Despite all this, he can't bring himself to quit, even as he becomes more emotionally untethered.

How is goat related to Billy? ›

A billy goat is a male goat.

What is the healthiest cheese to eat? ›

The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese
  • Blue cheese.
  • Feta.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Ricotta.
  • Parmesan.
  • Swiss.
  • Cheddar.
  • Goat.
Mar 4, 2019

Can diabetics eat goat cheese? ›

Goat cheese may be the healthiest cheese option for people with type 2 diabetes. It contains 102 calories and 6 grams of protein per ounce and includes vitamins A, B2, B12, D, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

What happens if you eat too much goat cheese? ›

Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium but is often high in saturated fat and salt. This means eating too much could lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Can dogs have goat cheese? ›

Goat cheese, brie, and feta all have high levels of saturated fat, which make them unhealthy for dogs to consume. A high-fat diet can also lead to pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening.

How do I know if goat cheese is bad? ›

The good news is that if goat cheese does happen to go bad, it's obvious. A strong or sour smell or any bitter or unpleasant taste is a giveaway that the cheese is past its prime.

Can I freeze goat cheese? ›

Yes, you can freeze goat cheese.

Spreadable goat cheese freezes extremely well, and can be used for its original purpose once thawed.

Can you microwave goats cheese? ›

Then melt the goat cheese is for one minute in the microwave (if you prefer the cheese is completely melted) or 4 to 5 minutes in the oven (if you like cheese just warm, slightly toasted and in one piece) . Personally, I prefer when it's melted…

Can you eat skin on goats cheese? ›

These blue surface moulds on the rind of a goats' cheese are perfectly safe to eat, and some presence on the rind adds flavour. However people are not always used to seeing them, and can find them a bit scary! To help control what grows on the rind, cheesemakers often add yeasts and moulds to their cheeses.

Why does goat cheese not melt? ›

But goat's cheese doesn't melt because of how it's made in that it's an acid-coagulated cheese. When acid is added to create cheese, it causes the casein proteins to bind super tightly. It's very hard to break these bonds.

What country eats the most goat? ›

Africans, South Americans, Central Americans, Middle Easterners, Indians, Australians and New Zealanders tend to eat the most goat meat, but this tasty meat is popular in Europe as well.

What is the number one cheese in the world? ›

Considered to be among the world's top quality cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano is made with raw, semi-skimmed milk from cows grazing on fresh grass and hay. It has a hard, gritty texture and its flavors range from nutty to robust and slightly piquant, depending on how long the cheese had matured.

Where does Trader Joe's goat cheese come from? ›

Trader Joe's Mobay Cheese. Crafted by Carr Valley Cheese (a fourth-generation, family-owned creamery in LaValle, Wis.) Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook, this cheese's slightly sweet and nutty flavor profile is a result of a layer each of goat's milk and sheep's milk—with a vein of grape-vine ash in the middle.

Is goat cheese good for high blood pressure? ›

Cheese. Some types are more likely to raise your blood pressure than others. Keep it down with cheeses that are naturally low in sodium, like Swiss, which has 75 milligrams per 1-ounce serving. Goat, ricotta, and fresh mozzarella are good, too.

Is goat milk anti inflammatory? ›

Goat milk (GM), as compared to cow milk (CM), is easier for humans to digest. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and can improve minor digestive disorders and prevent allergic diseases in infants.

Does goat cheese raise your cholesterol? ›

The consumption of a PUFA-enriched goat cheese significantly increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, as well as in apolipoprotein B, and it significantly decreased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein concentrations compared to the control goat cheese (p < 0.05).

Which cheese is closest to goat cheese? ›

Best substitute for goat cheese
  1. Cream cheese. The best substitute for goat cheese? ...
  2. Feta crumbles (for salads). For salads that call for goat cheese crumbles, you may want to substitute feta cheese. ...
  3. Labneh (spreads only). ...
  4. Ricotta cheese (spreads only).
Mar 6, 2020

Is goat cheese better warm or cold? ›

Is goat cheese better warm or cold? Goat cheese is best served at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before serving.

Is goat or mozzarella better? ›

Goat cheese is richer in Copper, Vitamin A RAE, and Vitamin B2, yet Mozzarella is richer in Calcium, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Selenium, and Phosphorus. Daily need coverage for Copper from Goat cheese is 60% higher. Goat cheese contains 26 times more Sodium than Mozzarella.

What is the number one food that causes high blood pressure? ›

Salt or sodium

Salt, or specifically the sodium in salt, is a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease. This is because of how it affects fluid balance in the blood. Table salt is around 40 percent sodium. Some amount of salt is important for health, but it's easy to eat too much.

Is goat cheese good for your liver? ›

It improves the metabolism of iron and copper in people who face difficulty in absorbing minerals in their digestive tract. People with liver problems are able to digest goat milk better due to the natural homogenisation of small fat molecules present in it.

Is Brie a goat cheese? ›

Brie is a soft, creamy, buttery cheese that originated in France and is produced internationally. It has a creamy interior with a soft, bloomy, edible rind of white mold. Brie is traditionally made from cow's milk but can also be made from goat's milk.

Which cheese has the lowest cholesterol? ›

Cottage cheese and fat-free cheeses contain the least cholesterol per serving. And even whole milk ricotta cheese contains half the amount of cholesterol as cheddar cheese.

Is ricotta a goat cheese? ›

Ricotta can technically be made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, or water buffalo, but the ricotta that we consume most frequently—the stuff you can buy at almost every grocery store—is made from the milk of a cow.

Which cheese is the most anti-inflammatory? ›

Or, consider switching to Swiss cheese; one study found the probiotics in this variety could decrease inflammation.

What milk is best for arthritis? ›

Make sure you opt for low-fat milk to avoid consuming extra calories and saturated fat. Orange, tomato, pineapple and carrot juices are all high in the antioxidant, vitamin C, which can neutralize free radicals that lead to inflammation.

What is the best yogurt for arthritis? ›

Greek Yogurt With Fruit

Yogurt is packed with filling protein and good bacteria. In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, women who ate low-fat yogurt daily for nine weeks had reduced signs of inflammation compared with women who didn't.

What are the ashes on goat cheese? ›

In earlier times, this was ash from the burning of the grape vine clippings in the Loire Valley of France which was even then noted for their wealth of fresh goat cheese. Today, however, the surface is normally covered with an activated charcoal mixed with salt.

Why does goat cheese taste like a goat smells? ›

So why does goats' cheese taste of 'goat'? The scientific reason behind the goat flavour in goats' cheese, is that their milk has a higher amount of three smaller-chain fatty acids (caproic, capric and caprylic fat) that give those 'goaty', 'barnyardy' flavours.

Can I eat the ash of goat cheese? ›

The tradition of ashed cheeses comes from the method of preserving the milk curds overnight by covering it with a layer of ash. Not an issue any longer, but the tradition of ash covered cheese remains. Additionally, cheese with ash also neutralizes acidity during ripening. The ash used is totally edible!

Can you eat the ash on cheese? ›

Cheese rinds are either made by humans (similar to wax and cloth) or natural. All can be eaten. It comes down to whether they should be eaten. Rinds that are herbed, peppered, wine-infused, and coated in ash (including some French goat cheeses, such as Valencay) are meant to be eaten.

Should you eat the rind on goats cheese? ›

These blue surface moulds on the rind of a goats' cheese are perfectly safe to eat, and some presence on the rind adds flavour. However people are not always used to seeing them, and can find them a bit scary! To help control what grows on the rind, cheesemakers often add yeasts and moulds to their cheeses.

Which animal cheese is the healthiest? ›

Some of the healthiest cheeses are feta and goat cheese, which are better for lactose intolerance. Cottage cheese and ricotta have more than 11 grams of muscle-building protein in a single serving. Swiss cheese is naturally lower in sodium, so it is a good option for people with hypertension.

Which is better feta or goat cheese? ›

While feta is mostly made of sheep's milk, goat cheese is primarily made of goat's milk. Nonetheless, both feta and goat cheese are typically white cheeses with a creamy mouthfeel.
Nutrition comparison.
Feta cheeseGoat cheese
Protein5 grams9 grams
Carbs2 gramsless than 1 gram
Fat8 grams11 grams
3 more rows
Jun 11, 2020

Why do some people not like goat cheese? ›

Some people have never tried goat cheese because they are picky eaters and don't like trying something new. Others have tried goat cheese before and despised it because of a tangy, strong flavor that is associated with goat cheese known as “goatyness'.

Does goat cheese really expire? ›

Answer: Goat cheeses, properly wrapped and refrigerated, should last for weeks, if not a couple of months. Like some cow's milk cheeses, many goat cheeses are meant to be aged, so you can't go wrong.


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