Minor cheese rant

Joined Apr 25, 2017
No, you didn't ruffle my feathers, you simply restated my original point, in that people are more specific about cow cheese than goat cheese.

Because cows are better! (joking) In thinking about it, I suspect it is because cow cheeses can be very different from one another from the start, whereas the basic structure of goat cheese does not change. It can be fresh, aged, have additions on the outside, or added in, but it is basically the same phyical cheese to begin with.

It's kind of like your example of cheddar - most people *do* just say cheddar even though there are different kinds of cheddar - mild, sharp, peppered, smoked, old and crystal-y, etc. But just like with goat cheese, they all started as cheddar.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
The structure of goat's milk changes very similarly to how the structure of cow's milk changes during cheesemaking...I'm a little confused by your point.

There is a great variety of goat cheese to be found. It runs the gamut between fresh and lightly aged (which I think you're referring to) to harder tomme style, aged ghouda, blues...

Cheddaring is a process for making cheese that can be done with any type of milk, and doesn't necessarily refer to cow's milk. I've had outstanding goat cheddar before. Never had a chance to try a sheep cheddar but I know they exist.

As I said earlier, I think the problem is more with our vocabulary and how the food scene exploded in the last 20-30 years...30 years ago the grocery stores only had generic "cheddar" "swiss" and "goat" (if you could even find goat). Now we know more and know better so the options have expanded, even if our specific vocabulary to describe it hasn't.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Wow, this is a classic Cheftalk thread. NICE! Cheese can be such a heated topic, I totally get you. There really are so many types of cheese that I find it easier when a recipe does NOT specify too much. When it calls for swiss cheese for example I'm free to grab my favorite swiss cheese (Emmental).

Also I feel like the discussion about cheese is so eurocentric sometimes, it's tiring.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Also I feel like the discussion about cheese is so eurocentric sometimes, it's tiring.
Feel free to start a discussion about non-Euro cheeses if you're inclined. The forums are not super healthy right now so some discussions about that could liven the place up.

I would posit the main reasons cheese discussion is "eurocentric" is because (aside from relatively small amounts of cheese made by traditional ethnic minorities in some countries, or small pockets of dairy farmers throughout the world that make small amounts of cheese) historically most places outside of Europe (specifically northern Europe) didn't make cheese. Indeed, many cultures (again, historically) looked down upon dairy farmers as barbarians or in other dismissive ways... the Romans used to abhor all the milk the German and Frankish tribes (and others) drank. Though the Italian's did eventually come around....

Europe had the largest and the longest dairy tradition in pre-Colombian times. Over the last several thousand years an intricate cheesemaking culture sprang up in Europe. This culture led to 1000's of different styles of cheese, and since the cheese is delicious, densely caloric, and, in it's aged form, travels and stores well (which was important before refrigeration)

Indeed, much of the world lacked a domesticated animal suitable for large scale cheese making until the 16th century. For example, most of Asia (aside from a few micro zones that make cheese from native water buffalos), Africa (aside from the Maasai, who didn't make cheese with their milk AFAIK), Australia, and the Americas. Again, there may be a few exceptions in small areas, but the prevalence was minimal.

The subsequent invasion of the new world by Europeans that brought their culture with them, and the rise of the United States as a global empire, expanded and developed this culture further.

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