There are many differences to consider when analyzing feta cheese vs. goat cheese. These are both popular kinds of cheese, with the main distinction being the type of milk that is used.
Feta Cheese vs. Goat Cheese Facts
Feta cheese and goat cheese are both typically white and creamy cheeses that are popular in the United States. The two cheeses differ from one another in a number of ways.
Feta cheese and goat cheese vary in texture and taste. Feta tends to be very creamy and buttery and can feel slimy to the touch because of its brine. Goat cheese is smoother and doesn’t have the same saltiness as feta cheese. The taste of goat cheese is more tart than feta cheese.
While the fat content between goat cheese and feta is similar, goat cheese tends to have a higher total fat content, including the amount of saturated fat.
Goat cheese and feta cheese also contain different milk. Goat cheese tends to just contain goat milk, whereas feta cheese is either made up of just sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. If feta does contain goat milk, the amount of goat milk cannot be more than 30 percent of the cheese.
The way the two kinds of cheese are produced also varies. In order to make feta cheese, the curds are separated from the whey and then compacted into blocks. Salt is added to the curds before aging it into a brine. It has to be stored for a few weeks at room temperature or can be stored in a refrigerator for a minimum of two months.
What is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is made all over the world and can have some differences based on where it’s made. French feta tends to be mild and creamy, while Greek feta is more crumbly. It’s also known for its briny and tangy flavor, but the taste and texture can vary based on where it’s made.
Feta cheese is made in specific areas of Greece and is made using sheep’s milk. Feta cheese is known to have different kinds of healthy bacteria that are able to kill harmful bacteria known as listeria.
What Does Feta Cheese Taste Like?
Feta cheese has a salty, tangy, and sharp taste. This kind of cheese also has a bit of an acidic bite. Because of its firm yet moist texture, feta cheese will quickly melt in your mouth. The brine is how feta gets its salty taste.
Is Feta Cheese Healthy?
Compared to other kinds of cheese, feta cheese is low in calories and fat. Feta cheese also has a high amount of B vitamins as well as phosphorus and calcium. Despite this, feta cheese is relatively high in sodium.
Feta cheese is loaded with many nutrients, such as zinc, selenium, calcium, protein, and more. In one cup of crumbled feta cheese, the cheese has 398 calories, 32.2 grams of fat, 20 grams of saturated fat, 5.8 grams of carbohydrates, 740 milligrams of calcium, 21.3 grams of protein, and 1,710 milligrams in sodium.
Other Healthy Benefits of Feta Cheese
- Feta cheese supports bone growth because of the calcium, phosphorus, and protein the cheese contains. Because of the calcium and protein, this helps maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. The milk in feta cheese, which comes from sheep, also provides more calcium and phosphorus.
- Feta cheese also helps your gut. Feta contains lactobacillus which helps strengthen the immune system and gut help by protecting the intestinal tract.
- Feta cheese also has beneficial fatty acids. Conjugated linoleic acid helps improve body composition and decrease fat mass, while also increasing lean body mass. It also helps prevent diabetes and cancer.
Can Feta Cheese be Eaten Raw?
Feta cheese is most often eaten raw or uncooked, but the cheese can also be cooked. Uncooked feta can be added as a topping to salads, mixed into a dip, or whipped and topped on sandwiches.
Is Feta Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women?
If you are pregnant, it is best to avoid feta cheese unless it has been made from pasteurized milk. When feta cheese is made with pasteurized milk, any harmful bacteria gets killed. You want to look for a clear label that says “made from pasteurized milk.”
With that being said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still warns that regardless of any soft cheese you eat, you need to still be careful. Pasteurized products can be made in factories with unsanitary conditions.
How Feta Cheese is Made
You are able to make feta cheese at home. You need a large stainless steel or nonreactive pot, a thermometer, a cheese knife, a cheesecloth, and a colander.
For the ingredients, you need 1 gallon of sheep’s milk, 1/8 teaspoon of mesophilic starter culture, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of calcium chloride, 1/2 tablet of rennet, 2 quarts of cool water, about 1 pound of kosher salt, and 2 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar.
Gather the ingredients and equipment that you will need.
Pour the milk into a large pot, and place the pot into a sink. The sink needs to be filled with hot water that surrounds 3/4 of the pot.
Slowly heat the milk until it reaches a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the pot of milk, you want to gently stir in the mesophilic starter culture. You want to make sure the mixture stays at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. This is also the hour you want to take the post out of the sink.
After stirring in the mesophilic starter, you then want to stir in 1/4 teaspoon of calcium chloride.
If you are using a rennet tablet to make the feta cheese, you need to crush the tablet and let it dissolve in a 1/4 cup of cool water. You can then take the miniature and add it to the milk.
While maintaining the milk mixture of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, you want to leave the mixture alone for 30 minutes. While doing this, if you find that the mixture starts to cool off too much, you need to put the mixture back into the sink with hot water for a couple minutes.
After 30 minutes, the milk mixture should feel like a firm yogurt. This is considered the break stage, and you can test it by poking a clean finger about an inch deep into the curd.
You then need to pull your finger towards you. If the curd has yet to reach the break stage at this point, you need to wait for another 30 minutes to pass before you test it again.
Using a knife, you need to cut the curd from one side to the other. The slices should be about 1 inch apart, while also going completely through the curd. Once you’re done cutting the curd, it should look like a tic-tac-toe pattern.
After creating the tic-tac-toe pattern, gently stir the chunks of curd. You will need to place the post back into the sink with hot water and raise the temperature to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The post needs to be left in the sink for about one hour. You will see the curds start to separate from the whey and you will also notice a yellowish liquid.
You need to line a colander with a butter muslin and then pour the curds and whey into the colander. Next, you need to bring the four corners of the muslin up and tie the corners of the muslin into a tight knot. After, let it drain for about 4 hours at room temperature. As it drains, you will see the curds congeal.
With the mass that forms, cut into blocks a couple of inches wide and let the curds drain in the muslin for an additional 30 minutes.
Now you need to make a saturated brink by taking the kosher salt and putting it into 2 quarts of salt. Add the salt slowly and if the salt stops dissolving eventually, you need to stop adding the salt. After, add a teaspoon of calcium chloride and 2 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar.
After you let the curds drain for 30 minutes, remove the blocks of feta and submerge them in the saturated brine mixture for 10 to 12 hours.
After letting the feta sit, drain the feta and let it sit at room temperature for one to two days.
Put the feta into sealed, airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator.
Ways to use Feta Cheese
While feta cheese is a great addition to Greek salads, you can also use feta cheese for a number of dishes and use it in a variety of different ways.
- You can sprinkle feta cheese on different kinds of potatoes, such as mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes. You can also sprink feta cheese on pizza, as it pairs well with tomatoes, artichokes, and olives.
- If you like sandwiches, you can also add feta for added flavor. For example, you can put feta into your grilled cheese if you decide to use feta and olive oil instead of butter.
- Feta cheese can also be an addition to stuffing. For example, if you like stuffed mushrooms or peppers, you can add in feta cheese.
- This kind of cheese also pairs well with fruit, such as watermelon or grapes
Feta Cheese Substitutes
If you need a feta cheese substitute, there are options you can try. One option is halloumi, which is slightly softer and less crumbly than feta cheese.
Parmesan is also a good alternative to feta cheese. It has a similar flavor but has a more cheesy flavor than feta does. Cottage cheese is also an option you can try. Cottage cheese isn’t as salty, and it is more mild and more creamy.
How to Store Feta Cheese
The best way to store feta is by using an airtight container or a ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible. A sealed container is the best way to store it.
You can make a mixture of 2 teaspoons of salt per two cups of water, which is enough brine to cover the cheese. You also have the option to cut the feta cheese into cubes and add them to a jar.
How Long Does Feta Cheese Last in the Fridge
Any opened leftover feta will last 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. You can also store opened feta blocks in their brine and expect them to last for about a month. In fact, if you preserve leftover feta blocks in olive oil, they will last for about two weeks.
If you choose to preserve feta in your fridge, it will stay fresh for 3 months. However, if you choose to freeze your feta, since the cheese contains dairy, the texture and taste of the cheese will change.
What is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese is made in many places, but it is predominately produced in France, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, China, and more. This type of cheese is made from goat’s milk or unpasteurized goat milk.
Goat cheese is typically softer than cow’s milk and has more fat than cheese made from cow’s milk. Goat cheese has a more tangy flavor. Goat’s milk is rich in caproic, caprylic, and capric acids while having a tangy flavor.
Types of Goat Cheese
Buche de Chevre
Buche de Chevre is a kind of French goat cheese that has a sweet and tangy taste. This cheese pairs well with fruit and sweet nuts.
Caprino is an Italian cheese that has a soft and creamy texture when aged for only a few days. This kind of goat cheese has a mild taste, and people will add spices or herbs. Caprino can also be aged for around 40 days. It will have a salty and tangy taste.
Garrotxa is a Spanish cheese that is semi-soft and lacks the creamy spreadability of other kinds of goat cheese.
This kind of goat cheese is aged in caves for periods of time and will develop a peppery casing. Garrotxa goes well with hard bread, fruit preserves, nuts, and white wine.
Goat Milk Ricotta
Goat milk ricotta has a darker texture than ricotta cheese made with cow milk. This type of goat cheese is mild, creamy, and a bit sour.
Gouda Goat Cheese
A popular cheese that is mild, semi-firm, and has a slightly sweet taste is gouda. Gouda goes well with hot dishes and can be a good addition to cheese boards.
Halloumi cheese is made with sheep and goat’s milk. Because of how the cheese is able to hold firm, it’s much easier to grill, fry or bake than other kinds of cheese. The cheese comes with a savory flavor
Humboldt Fog goat cheese is a mold-ripened soft cheese that is mild and light and comes with a slightly acidic taste.
Murcia Al Vino
Murcia Al Vino is a Murician wine cheese that has a mild aroma and a savory taste. It pairs well with crackers, fruits, nuts, and wines.
This kind of goat cheese comes from southwest England and is a firm cheese. Ticklemore tastes and smells milky, but has hints of earthiness and grassiness.
Verde Capra Cheese
Verda Capra cheese is a blue cheese that is soft and crumbly. This kind of goat cheese is mild in flavor but can have a slight tangy bite as well.
This kind of cheese pairs well with dressings, dips and fruity cheese boards.
What Does Goat Cheese Taste Like?
There are many different kinds of goat cheese that are created all over the world. Goat cheese can be creamy with a mild flavor and spreadable texture.
Soft ripened goat cheeses come with a citric taste, while aged goat cheese has a thick rind and a firm texture.
Is Goat Cheese Healthy?
There are many health benefits to eating goat cheese over other standard cow’s cheeses. Goat cheese contains more vitamins and minerals than cheese made with cow’s milk.
Known for its high protein count, goat cheese is a source of calcium and healthy fats. Goat cheese also contains potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium.
In addition, goat cheese ontains selenium, so it helps your body break down peroxides that can damage your DNA.
Other Health Benefits of Goat Cheese
- The amounts of copper that can be found in goat cheese can help produce red blood cells. These blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to other tissues of the body. Copper also aids in the body absorbing iron and other nutrients.
- Goat cheese can also contain riboflavin, which is known as B2. This vitamin also plays an important role in a number of bodily processes, such as the production and functioning of new cells.
- The fatty acids in goat cheese help your body feel full faster. Choosing goat cheese rather than cheese made with cow milk can help people feel less hungry. Because of this, goat cheese can be an important factor in weight loss.
- Because of the A2 beta-casein in goat cheese, it can help improve digestion. Goat cheese and goat milk can be easier on digestion.
- Since goat cheese is high in calcium, goat cheese can help improve your bone, teeth and organ health. It can also help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, as well as other bone disorders that can be developed later in life.
Can Goat Cheese be Eaten Raw?
You can eat raw goat cheese. Consuming raw goat cheese can help people with feeling less hungry, more satiated, and eat less. You can add raw goat cheese to crackers, salads, pizzas, and much more.
Is Goat Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women?
Depending on the kind of goat cheese a pregnant woman eats, goat cheese can be healthy. As long as the goat cheese isn’t surface-ripened, the cheese is regarded as safe to eat.
Despite some forms of goat cheese being unhealthy for pregnant women, certain kinds of goat cheese are considered not to be healthy. Pregnant women are more susceptible to food poisoning and are 10 to 20 times more likely to contract listeriosis.
Soft cheeses that are made from raw or unpasteurized or surface-ripened goat cheeses are at a higher risk of bacterial contamination. The goat cheeses that are safe to eat include pasteurized goat cheeses and hard goat cheeses.
How is Goat Cheese Made?
You can make goat cheese by using pasteurized or raw goat’s milk.
You first need to warm the milk to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and then add a starter culture in order to ferment the milk.
Next, add rennet, which will begin the coagulation of milk proteins, allowing curds to form. This process can take around a day or two to complete.
After allowing the curds to form, scoop the curds and mold it into different blocks to determine the shape of the cheese. You want to allow the curd to drain for around 24 hours by using a muslin.
Once you have the molds of cheese, you need to sprinkle salt over the cheese in order to add flavor and form the rind. The salt also controls the growth of any microorganisms.
Some types of goat cheeses can be eaten right after the draining, while other cheeses need to undergo a ripening process that can take a week or up to a year.
Ways to use Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is a great option for appetizers, as a salad garnish, an addition to pizza and pasta, and more.
- One way to use goat cheese is by adding it to cheese boards or charcuterie boards with other cheeses and foods.
- Because of the versatility of goat cheese, it is a great addition to salads and sandwiches.
- You can use goat cheese as a dip since it is a softer cheese. You can add herbs, garlic, and other seasonings for added flavor.
- Goat cheese can be added to salads. In Mediterranean, Greek, and Italian cuisine, goat cheese is a common addition and pairs well with dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and a light olive oil vinaigrette.
- Goat cheese can also be added to different appetizers, such as crostini. Crostinis consist of a toasted baguette base or a different kind of bread where various toppings can be added.
Goat Cheese Substitutes
If you don’t want to eat goat cheese, there are other options. You can try cream cheese, which has a similar texture to goat cheese but is a bit more stiff. Unfortunately, cream cheese won’t have the same tangy flavor to it, but you can add in a very small amount of Greek yogurt.
If you like goat cheese crumbles in your salad, you can try feta crumbles. The feta cheese has a firmer texture, and is a bit more salty and tangy than goat cheese.
Labneh is a Mediterranean yogurt cheese that can be a great alternative to goat cheese if you use it as a spread. This cheese also has a thick texture and tangy taste.
Ricotta cheese is another substitute to goat cheese, but you will need to add salt to it since ricotta is mild. Since ricotta has a very loose texture, you need to use this one as a spread.
How to Store Goat Cheese
There are a number of ways to store goat cheese. In the grocery store, you might find it in tubs. You can also store goat cheese in vacuum packed plastic or wrapped up in paper or wax paper. Another way to store goat cheese is by removing it from the original packaging and placing the cheese in a sealed container and putting it in a fridge.
How Long Does Goat Cheese Last in the Fridge?
How long goat cheese lasts in the fridge depends on how you choose to store it. Goat cheese that is unopened but wrapped in plastic can last for 2 months if refrigerated. Aged goat cheese that is wrapped in paper or wax paper can be left in a refrigerator drawer and can be stored for up to one week.
Healthier Choice: Feta Cheese vs. Goat Cheese
Feta cheese is the healthier choice overall. While feta is preferred if you are on a weight-loss diet since it has fewer calories than goat cheese, if you have a heart condition, goat cheese is the better option. This is because of the cholesterol and sodium in feta.