Goat cheese, also known as Chevre, has to be one of the world’s most perfect foods. Although some feel that its distinctive flavor is an acquired taste, many of have learned to love its tangy creaminess. Goat’s milk, and therefore goat cheese, lacks the high lactose content of cow’s milk, making it easier to digest. In fact, many people who suffer from lactose intolerance find that they can tolerate goat’s milk products like cheese and ice cream just fine.
Now goat cheese isn’t all that expensive, and even my local everyday grocery store carries several brands and flavors. Nonetheless, last summer I decided that I wanted to make my own. I purchased some dry starter at the Mother Earth News Fair, picked up 1/2 gallon of fresh goat’s milk and set to work.
Making your own goat cheese is really a pretty simple process. It involves heating the goat’s milk, stirring in the starter, and letting it set for 12 hours in a warm place. At this point you can strain the cheese through cheesecloth to get rid of the whey, add herbs or spices, and voila……you have goat cheese.
At least that’s the theory. My goat cheese never solidified enough to strain. In other words, I had no curds and whey. Instead it thickened to a yogurt-like consistency. Not wanting to waste it – goat’s milk is not cheap! – I added a little salt and chopped chives, lemon balm, and purslane from the garden.
It was great and the family thought I was brilliant for coming up with such a unique dip. Everyone ate it, even the toddlers. It was good with carrot sticks and crackers, but was even better served over grilled sweet potato wedges. Yummmm!
I am planning to make another batch, almost hoping this one doesn’t work correctly either. The purslane isn’t ready yet, but I have fresh chives and lemon balm in the garden. Maybe I’ll add some watercress…. or tarragon…..or rosemary…… What do you think? Any suggestions?