In the last week I’ve fielded the same question about goat milk at least half a dozen times. Thanks to the rules around dairy, and probably the dairy lobby, goat milk has suffered an injustice. I’ll admit that I once believed the same thing about goat milk that the people I talk to believe as well.
Goat milk tastes disgusting.
I loved the bite of a good chevre but the milk itself really made my stomach turn. One of the reasons it took us so long to finally get around to breeding our goats was because I just wasn’t prepared to force myself to like goat milk. My only experience with goat milk was of course the commercial stuff I could hunt down, which was few and far between. I thought maybe we were crazy to try and rely on goats for our dairy when I didn’t even like the milk. After we had already gotten our goats we were at a local cheesemaker’s shop. I tried some goat brie and it almost made me give up the idea for having our own milk. Disgusting was an understatement. I said to Tom “this cheese tastes like our goats smell, but stronger.” It wasn’t pleasant.
What I didn’t know almost ruined everything. As it turns out goat milk doesn’t always taste disgusting. There are many factors that go into how it tastes including the breed (the dwarf breeds have more fat in their milk and it’s sweeter and less goaty tasting), where in the lactation cycle that goat is, what they eat, and even the individual animal. But the most important factors in how the milk tastes are how clean the milking process is (no hairs get into the milk) and how fresh the milk is.
Fresh, clean goat milk tastes a lot like cow milk and doesn’t taste bad at all. Our goats’ milk is actually slightly sweeter. What a relief that was when I took the first taste of milk from my goats. After about the 4th day it starts to pick up that goat taste. We usually drink it or freeze it well before that though. We all probably know how long it can take commercial milk to get from the cow/goat to the store so it’s no wonder that the commercial goat milk, which isn’t in very high demand to begin with, would taste so strong.