Friday, May 2, 2014

The Flavor of Goat's Milk

Hi, it's Celia again.

When people find out I milk my goats, they usually ask, "What does goat's milk taste like?" If I'm feeling ornery I say, "Like goat's milk." If I'm not feeling ornery I tell them it tastes like cow's milk, but wilder. Some people say it tastes "goaty" but I don't think that's accurate. I had a gyro made with goat meat once, and goat milk doesn't taste anything like that.

Our goats eat grass, weeds, trees, shrubs, bark, and sometimes Mom's hostas and roses--pretty much any plant they can reach. The flavor of the milk reflects what they eat. If they eat Mom's pine trees, the milk tastes different than if they eat Mom's roses. And in the spring when there are lots of wild onions around the milk tastes different than in the autumn when the goats eat fallen leaves.I prefer fallen leaves milk to onion milk. Mom can barely tell the difference. She says it's because she has old taste buds.

When you raise your own food, this change in flavor is just the way it is. Our eggs, broilers (those are meat chickens), honey, and goat's milk are all influenced by what the critters eat. Mom says that's a good thing. She says this isn't McDonald's where the food is made in a factory. She says this is real life, and we're eating real food.

I'm tempted to feed the goats chocolate and see if I get chocolate flavored milk, but I know that won't happen.

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