Who likes goat cheese? Certainly not I as long as I have known it exists. I could never fathom the slightest of interest looking at it. Try it? Yeah, that is definitely not going to happen. As cheesy as it may seem, something truly special happened with my disdain.
The mere thought of goat cheese baffled me. It sounds awful by name. I enjoy a good cheese to eat with my meal, preferably one that comes from an animal that moos. If that cheese is made from an animal otherwise, like one that baahs, flags go up with great concern. I’ve seen it made from a cow including other dairy products, but never a goat.
How can cheese come from a goat?
As I type this entry in February, I am reminded of Valentine’s Day. It’s a special month where couples are reminded to share in the love of another for at least one day. But this is a food blog and I am single.
Rarely do I see any dining specials or “happenings” for a single male over the course of these twenty-eight (28)days.
Well, twenty-nine (29) days when it’s a leap year. I do not qualify for any “couples” special meals in my current situation. So when I saw the February specials at my favorite eatery were not only for “couples” but singles as well. Needless to say, but for the sake of space and tongue in cheek, I was in love.
While the majority of the ingredients used for the specials including spinach, artichoke, and red roasted pepper, it was the entree with goat cheese that made me do a double take. As I have written above and the topic of the entry, I was baffled why this cheese was chosen. I squinted and briefly stuck my tongue out cringing at the notion this was an ingredient for an omelette.
How dare you food, how dare you?!
Before choosing a different special from the menu, the one with artichoke, I asked my waitress why goat cheese? Her response surprised me as she spoke highly of its smooth mild tart flavor, a less salty feta cheese. She continued explaining it was a popular menu choice with customers enjoying its taste. Clearly she has poor taste in food or just pushing the item for the sake of its soon expiration date.
Oh boy, was I ever wrong.
The question I failed to ask from the start is what is goat cheese? As an anyone interested in learning something new, I looked to the internet for answers. I can confirm I was correct in my assumption. True to the animal, it is definitely not that of a cow.
Although, goat cheese is not that different from a cow’s cheese.
Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years and similar to the cow except that it naturally has a tart taste due to its type of fatty acid content and curdling process. You must be wondering about the fatty acid content. Truly it’s really fascinating stuff, so much so I recommend googling it for more information.
Internationally, goat cheese has a wider appeal outside the western hemisphere including individuals who have low tolerance to other milk types.
When I consider factors like the ones listed, what is my hang up on goat cheese? For me it’s still the fact that cheese comes from a goat. Have you ever heard a goat scream? Check YouTube and see for yourself. While it is funny, it’s also disturbing in my opinion. You want cheese from that?
Talking with a friend on the matter he asked, “What’s so different coming a cow, an animal that moos?” Ultimately, I agreed. It’s still an animal that produces dairy. There is a cultural difference eating certain kinds of cheese between the hemisphere.
In the Western hemisphere, we have been taught since young by the foods pyramid poster displayed in school cafeterias, the cow is a prominent nutrient provider for our health and well being.
That still remains to this day having never seen the goat appear anywhere on that poster. Truth of the matter, it comes down to the fear of trying something new. Within that fear are these personal questions we ask trying a new food. What is it? Will I like how it tastes?
Fear is opening a door you never entered in your life.
A week later, I returned to that local eatery with family for breakfast. As the specials were still available, I ordered one of my biggest fears of food. It was the omelette made with eggs, spinach, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese. The waitress complimented my choice while my family balked. They agreed I will never like it. I was ready to agree with them, but I was hoping for the better. As the meal arrived about twenty minutes later, I was served last. Staring with concern at the dish, I couldn’t help but ask, will I like it and how does it taste? My family joked I’ll spit it out after the first bite. To my surprise and theirs, that was not the case.
Cutting into the omelette, it was soft and cheesy like ricotta.
The cheese did not have a noticeable smell. Chewing felt pleasant on the mouth and not like that of a cheddar or provolone. The texture was smooth with a subtle taste of tart. I truly liked the goat cheese feeling relieved of disappointment. Looking at my family, I smiled with a thumbs up. As normal, they swiped a bite from my plate and were equally pleased.
The fear of tasting goat cheese was overcome and defeated.
Leaving the eatery, I thanked my waitress from the week prior for her advice. Not only did I overcome my fear of trying goat cheese with her help, I honestly liked it more than I would have expected. Feta, the foot of cheese, and ricotta have serious competition in flavor and taste from goat cheese.
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Never stop trying new things.