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Goat Cheese vs. Cow Cheese: What’s the Difference?

An overview comparing goat cheese to cow cheese, highlighting both contrasts and similarities.

goat cheese vs cow cheese

Preferring goat cheese over cow cheese is quite literally a matter of personal taste. We’re obviously biased in that department—no surprise there.

What might surprise you, though, are some of the interesting facts about goat milk products. Some of the questions we’re often asked:

(Click any of the above links to jump to the answer)

As part of our ongoing efforts to debunk goat cheese myths and offer education and clarification—LaClare-ification, if you will—we’ll be addressing the most popular questions about goat cheese.

Now, be assured, we’re equal opportunity cheese lovers. We even include cow milk in our flavorful Chandoka Cow & Goat Milk Cheese as well as its richly complex, sofi™ Award-winning cousin Cave Aged Chandoka. These two delectable cheeses bring together the best of both worlds.

Still, comparing goat cheese and cow cheese, we recognize our products aren’t quite as common—yet—nor is knowledge about it. Enjoy these tasty curds of wisdom.

How is Goat Cheese Different from Cow Cheese?

Flavor Comparison

Admittedly, comparing the flavor of goat cheese to cow cheese is tricky. Some differences between the types of cheese are subtle, others are significant, and the quality and standards of production always influence the results.

Due to these variables, a taste is worth perhaps ten thousand words. We suggest inviting friends to join you in sampling a spread of our many flavors. Or try one of our goat cheese recipes instead of making a similar one with cow cheese and savor the difference.

Beyond taste, you may wonder how goat cheese compares with cow cheese regarding nutrition. We’re often asked if goat cheese is healthier than cow cheese.

Since each of us is unique, we’d never push a one-size-fits-all answer for whether goat cheese is right for your diet. What we will do is present a number of facts on goat cheese nutrition to help you decide for yourself.

Goat Cheese Nutrition Compared to Cow Cheese

The following table compares the nutrient content in goat milk cheddar cheese to that of cow milk cheddar cheese.

Goat Cheese Nutrition Vs Cow Cheese

As you can see, goat cheese has a slightly more protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and vitamin A content compared to cow cheese. Additionally, goat cheese fat content is slightly lower than cow cheese. Regardless, both cow and goat cheese can support keto-diets and recipes. In general, the nutritional content shakes out to be fairly similar.

Is Goat Cheese Dairy?

Yes, goat milk and cow milk are both dairy products, but goat milk differs from cow milk on lactose levels and digestibility:

Digestion and Lactose in Goat Cheese

Goat milk has a slightly lower lactose level than cow milk. According to Healthline, goat milk is comprised of 4.2% lactose, whereas lactose in cow milk is closer to 5%. Although not scientifically proven, some consumers who are sensitive to lactose find this difference significant.

Does Goat Cheese Contain Casein?

Then there’s casein, the protein found in milk. Cow milk has two types of casein (A1 and A2). A2 is regarded as easier to digest. Goat milk has just one type of casein, A2, making it easier for digestion as some consumers claim.

Further, the capric acid of goat cheese adds anti-inflammatory properties to goat cheese not found in cow cheese.

How is Goat Cheese Similar to Cow Cheese?

Both goat milk and cow milk have storied histories of cultivation. The fact that they each can be produced in hard and soft varieties and can be both melted and shredded means they share practicality and versatility.

At the end of the day, cheese is glorious cheese regardless of which dairy animal it comes from (including the less common such as buffalo and sheep). Simply separate curds from whey, and you’re on your way.

But the all-important similarity between goat cheese and cow cheese is that when they’re well made, they’re delicious. At LaClare, the secret to our unrivaled goat cheese is no secret at all: all our goat milk is fresher due to our industry-leading supply chain. The majority of our milk is sourced from within 10 miles of our creamery, producing exceptionally fresh, clean-tasting products.

At LaClare, we take pride in representing goat cheese at its very best. We relish the opportunity to take on the top cheesemakers at various competitions, including the United States Championship Cheese Contest where our mildly sweet and creamy Fig & Honey Goat Cheese recently won first place in its category. Many of our cheeses recently won awards and received honors in the 2023 Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Contest.

Hungry for more? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook, where we continually cover interesting facts about goat cheese in our ongoing ICYMI and FAQ post series.


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