Is Goat Cheese Dairy?

A large portion of cheese products are made from cow’s milk. Cow’s milk cheeses generally include blue cheese, cheddar, brie, fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, swiss, and  much more. We could literally have pages full that list cow cheese products. Cow milk is what most people think of when they think of dairy. Cow milk is the primary source for the milk we drink, the sour cream we eat, the yogurt we consume and is in the majority of dairy products that we routinely purchase. But, what about goat cheese? Just by its name we would assume it is not made from traditional cow’s milk but rather from goat’s milk.

Yes, goat cheese is in fact made from goat’s milk. However, this does not disqualify it from being considered a dairy product. Any product that is primarily produced from a mammal’s milk is considered dairy. The mammal animals that produce dairy products include cows, sheep, goats, buffaloes, camels,  horses, and more. Essentially, the classification of a dairy product does not just mean a product solely produced from cow’s milk. Goat cheese is, therefore, a dairy product.

While goat’s milk and the products it produces are considered dairy, goat’s milk does have different properties than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is generally much easier to digest than cow’s milk. This is because the fat particles in goat’s milk are much smaller than the particles in cow’s milk. Smaller particles or fat globules are much easier to digest than the larger globules that cow’s milk offers.

Additionally, when we think of milk digestion what might come to mind is lactose or lactose intolerance. Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk that many people have difficulty digesting.  People suffer from lactose intolerance or sensitivity when their body does not produce enough lactase to break down the lactose. The higher the lactose percentage a dairy product contains, the more difficult it can be to digest. Goat’s milk contains a lower percentage of lactose than cow’s milk, which makes it easier to digest for people with lactose digestion problems.

In conclusion, goat cheese is a dairy product because it is made from the  milk of a mammal. However, not all milk is the same. Goat’s milk is much easier to digest than cow’s milk. Goat cheese may be a viable option for people who have difficulty digesting cow milk dairy products.

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