Goat cheese is a unique ingredient that many swanky restaurants incorporate into their sweet and savory dishes. It is full of flavor and tastes brilliant paired with simple green vegetables or a filling for more time-consuming and complex dishes such as caramelized onion tart.
If you are struggling to get your hands on high-quality goat’s cheese then you may be put off attempting to make certain dishes. This article explores some of the other ingredients that are great in recipes instead of goat’s cheese. Have a look at the cheese that made our top 10 list, and read about why people love goat cheese and reasons that you might decide to swap it out for something else. Enjoy!
Why People Love Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is loved by many for a number of reasons. It is one of the most versatile cheeses on the market, and its strong flavors can be exaggerated or toned down to suit the dish.
It has a higher price ticket than cow cheese and this is extremely appealing for people who want to impress guests or to experience a fine dining meal at home. It even tastes wonderful with wine and a thick slice of sourdough bread and feels luxurious and indulgent.
Another reason people love goat cheese is that it is such a great source of selenium. Selenium has been proven to break down DNA-damaging peroxides that could develop into cancer or cause cardiovascular or thyroid disease.
Reasons for Using a Goat Cheese Substitute
Although there are many great reasons to incorporate goat cheese into your diet, there are also many valid reasons to swap it out of certain recipes. Whether you are cooking for one, or for family and friends, you may want to skip on the goat cheese because of the following reasons:
Sometimes the strong flavors in goat cheese can be overpowering, especially for immature pallets. If you know that you are cooking for children, then you might want to swap out the goat cheese for something a little more subtle.
To some, goat cheese smells divine, whereas to others, it is unappealing. It all comes down to personal taste, so it is worth asking guests what they think about goat cheese before you prepare their meal.
Goat Cheese Substitutes
1. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is very similar in texture to goat cheese. Cream cheese is the substitute of choice for goat cheese in cheesecake recipes and in salads. When using cream cheese as a substitute, you should consider using less than is written in the recipe and add a bit of yogurt to mimic the flavor.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a great alternative for people who want to use a cheese with a milder flavor. The texture isn’t similar, so you will need to blend the cottage cheese to make it similar to goat cheese.
3. Manchego Cheese
Manchego cheese can be just as hard to obtain as goat cheese. This Spanish cheese is a little nuttier in flavor than the other cheeses mentioned on this list, but its hard texture and unusual taste make it very special indeed.
4. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is an Italian cheese that can be made using cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk. Similar to our cream cheese alternative, it can also be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
5. Fromage Blanc
Are you looking for a fat-free alternative to goat’s cheese? Fromage blanc is a French cheese with a very mild flavor and soft creamy texture.
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Labneh is a very healthy soft cheese with low-fat content and creamy texture. It is a good goat cheese substitute because of its tangy flavor and versatility. Many people confuse labneh with cream cheese, which is a common mistake. Labneh is a creamy cheese made from cow’s yogurt, which is very different from cream cheese.
You might be wondering how on earth camembert is similar to goat cheese, but hear me out. Camembert and goat cheese may be completely different in flavor and texture, but they are similar in nutritional value.
8. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese may look less appealing than goat cheese, but it makes up for it in taste. Blue cheese has a creamier texture than goat cheese; however, that creamy texture is more than welcome in recipes that also use walnuts, dried fruit, apples, and pears.
Mascarpone is a slightly sweet cheese that is often used to make desserts such as tiramisu. If you are looking for a sweeter alternative for goat cheese, then this is a wonderful option. It is soft, creamy, and can be fluffed up which is something chefs and home cooks love about this cheese.
10. Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is the best goat cheese substitute if you are looking for a cheese that has a similar texture and flavor. Use feta cheese as an alternative if you love the tangy taste of goat cheese and its thick, rich texture, but you are struggling to find it in a store near you.
Common Goat Cheese Misconceptions
Let’s get some things straight. Goat cheese is a very misunderstood cheese that people often think isn’t suitable for them because of a few common misconceptions. Have a look at the following sections to see if you have thought wrongly about goat cheese all along.
Goat Cheese Always Smells ‘Off’
There are a few types of goat cheeses, all of which have a very different smell to one another. Some varieties are pungent, while others are mild, so if one variety isn’t suitable for you, another will be!
Goat Cheese isn’t Suitable for People With Cow’s Milk Allergies
Cow’s milk and goat’s milk are different from one another. They have different protein compositions, which means that people suffering from cow’s milk allergies will often not be sensitive to goat milk.
Goat Cheese is Always Soft
There are in fact soft and hard goat cheese varieties on the market. Soft goat is the most popular goat cheese and the one more readily available to consumers, but there are many other textures out there for you to try.
Goat Cheese Comes in One Flavor
Goat cheese has a wide range of flavors, all of which have a distinct goat cheese aftertaste. Make sure you are purchasing the right flavor for the meal you want to make.
Because not all goat cheese tastes the same, some varieties taste great with wine, whereas some do not go well with wine at all. If you want to enjoy your goat cheese with a nice glass of wine, make sure you choose your wine and cheese carefully.
Top Tip: If you are thinking of putting a cheese board together, or you should be strategic with the cheeses you choose. Pick cheeses that complement one another and add a bowl of dried fruit and nuts next to the board for more flavor and texture.
I hope you are feeling more confident in what to use instead of goat cheese in recipes. Cheese is a basic ingredient that is the building block for many dishes, so being able to play around with the varieties and picking a cheese that is right for you and your dinner guests is important.
I would love to hear about your goat cheese experiences and why you sometimes choose to use a substitute instead. Share your opinions, tips, and tricks in the comments section below!
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