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Jan 20, 2009 04:41 PM

I can't do goat cheese. Substitute?

I love any kind of cheese, the stinkier the better. But I just can't wrap my arms around chevre. I have tried all kinds, many times, but to me it just taste hairy. So I would like to know, what would be the best general substitute in recipes that call for it? I'm trying to figure out what would be the "go to cheese", not a substitute based on the recipe (i.e., use brie here, feta here, etc.), if that makes any sense.

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  1. Goat cheese has a taste, you can't substitute cow's milk or sheep's milk cheese and expect it to taste the way the recipe intended it to turn out.

    The most you can do is substitute the texture. Recipes calling for fresh, soft goat cheese can be subbed with ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone, farmers cheese...something like that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      A good French feta that has been soaked in water or milk to remove some salt is pretty darn close

      1. re: jaykayen

        Yes. it has a taste. One that some people do not like. They are reading a recipe and it sound delicious, till they get to goat cheese. They still want to try the recipe or, actually the method used for the dish, so I think mostly people are looking to find a substtute that will mimic the consistency, and still be palatable to them. Not everybody wants TANG, GRASS, EARTH and S#!t taste. Guess you can count me among the goat cheese haters. If I werein a restaurant, and this is the taste the chef intended, I'd just order something else. At home, I feel free to alter a recipe in any way I see fit.

      2. jaykayen is right - no other cheese will provide the same distinct, tangy flavor. (there's also a difference in flavor & texture between fresh chevre and aged goat cheese.)

        in terms of the best comparisons for texture & moisture content, i'd suggest queso fresco, farmer cheese, pot cheese, queso anejo, cotija, or dry curd cottage cheese (blended until smooth).

        4 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks to all......yes, this is still [2013] a VERY useful piece of info, for someone like me who just doesn't like the flavor of goat cheese. I'm making Giada's Apple Galette with Goat Cheese and Sour Cherry and Almond Topping and wanted a texturally/flavorful substitute. With all your help, I also f/u with Google and found that Queso Blanco would probably be a really good sub. I'm not sure Queso Fresco would be however, since it says it's partially made with goats milk. Hope the original [Susan627] questioner did some research as I did since it sounds like there may be an allergy issue for her, where as I just don't like the taste.

          1. re: jackie2830

            In my experience queso fresco is usually made from cow's milk, though I can believe that sometimes goat milk is included.

            1. re: jackie2830

              Hmm, I'm not sure where you got the idea that the OP had allergy concerns...? All she said was that she couldn't get past the flavor of chevre.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Hmm, you're correct, she doesn't say she's allergic.....just a non-lover like myself. Well, it may still be a useful fact for someone who IS allergic.

          2. In addition to these great suggestions, for fresh goat cheese, drained plain yogurt ("yogurt cheese") crumbles nicely into unheated applications.

            My method, which yields a fairly firm texture, is:
            1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a paper towel. Place over measuring cup.
            2. Mix yogurt with a tiny bit of salt, herbs, etc. Dump into strainer- don't fill all the "whey" to the top. (oh dear- that was a terrible pun, wasn't it? :)
            3. Fold paper towel over the yogurt to cover completely.
            4. Weight down with a clean can if desired (a tomato paste can is my usual go-to) Leave in fridge for at least 24 hours, up to 3 days.

            It actually unmolds into a pretty little half-dome. I've only used low-fat yogurt in this application- suspect it would work fine with full-fat yogurt, but am unsure if non-fat yogurt would work.

            I've used this swap lots of time for people who are averse to that "goat-y tang" :). Hope this helps!

            13 Replies
            1. re: 4Snisl

              how could i forget yogurt cheese?! good call.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                GHG, being the fellow dietitian and you know if this works with non-fat yogurt? I rarely buy the stuff myself but if it's the "usual fridge stand-by" for certain folks, I'd rather them avoid any unnecessary additional purchases if they can just use what they have......

                1. re: 4Snisl

                  it works with all fat percentages, from whole milk to nonfat. HOWEVER, it doesn't work with Greek-style yogurt because that's already drained, nor does it work with yogurt that has been thickened with pectin (which is the case with some nonfat yogurts, so tell them to check the label).

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Responding two years late, but it absolutely does work with Greek yogurt. You just put it into the cheesecloth, cover it with cheesecloth, and put a heavy plate on it to press it down, then let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. I have some yogurt cheese made this way (from Chobani non-fat Greek-style yogurt, believe it or not) sitting in my fridge right now.

                    1. re: Isolda

                      ah, using something to *weigh* it down is a great call! because the simple draining method is pretty useless with thick, Greek-style yogurt that's already been strained before. nice :)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I never weigh down my Greek yogurt before making yogurt cheese and it always turns out great. Just drain through cheese cloth or a coffee filter over night in te fridge over a strainer ad bowl.

                  2. re: 4Snisl

                    Yougurt cheese was my first thought uponreading this post. I use fat free Stonyfield Farm and it works great.

                2. re: 4Snisl

                  this is wonderful 4Snisl! I have never tried it and I think I will give it a go this weekend. do you think it will work with cheesecloth instead of paper towel?
                  happy eating, Oana

                  1. re: oana

                    oana, it absolutely does.

                    line a large, fine-meshed strainer or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, and place a bowl under the strainer to catch the liquid (whey) that will separate from the yogurt. pour the yogurt into the lined strainer, cover it, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours - the longer it sits, the thicker the cheese will become.

                    1. re: oana

                      Second that cheesecloth will work fine- it's actually the more environmentally-responsible choice to boot since you can re-use it!

                      A thin linen-type towel also works well.....

                      Also, something that I didn't mention- if you're using a low-fat yogurt, try to find one that is stabilized by milk solids instead of pectin. Just my humble opinion, but I think that the texture comes out slightly better in the drained result.

                      Good luck!

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        one more alternative for draining material (though less environmentally responsible than cheesecloth or linen towels) - coffee filters!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I actually use a plastic and nylon coffee filter. Works perfectly.

                        2. re: 4Snisl

                          no low fat for me 4Snisl :) full fat all the way :) thank you so much for the advice though :)
                          happy eating, Oana

                    2. double cream Bulgarian feta would be my "go to" substitute.
                      it is just lovely and nothing like its counterparts.
                      happy eating, oana