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Celebrating National Goat Cheese Month in August—and All Year Long

For goat cheese connoisseurs, one month isn’t nearly enough.


National Goat Cheese Month August

Every August, cheese lovers across the United States celebrate National Goat Cheese Month—a snapshot in time dedicated to appreciating and savoring the unique flavors and versatility of goat cheese. But how did this homage-to-fromage holiday come to be? And how has goat cheese evolved from its humble beginnings to become a beloved culinary staple today?


The Timing and Tradition: When is National Goat Cheese Month?


Back in 1998, the American Cheese Society launched National Goat Cheese Month as a way “to promote the benefits of cooking with goat cheese.” Why August, you may ask? Because historically, that’s when goat cheese was at its tastiest, following a full summer of goats eating fresh forage, including wild berries and herbs (coincidentally, the same flavorful goodies we add to our distinctly delicious goat cheese). Good thing for goat cheese lovers that dairies have long since learned how to feed goats nutritious diets no matter the season, making it possible for goats to continuously produce fresh, flavorful milk and cheesemakers to craft even fresher, more flavorful chèvre all year long.

 

National Goat Cheese Month is a time to connect us to the tradition and craftsmanship of cheesemaking while encouraging us to enjoy its modern-day innovations—including a collection of creatively curated recipes. Throughout August, various events, tastings, and promotions highlight the veritable versatility of goat cheese in both sweet and savory dishes. Restaurants feature special menus showcasing goat cheese in salads, pastas, pizzas, and desserts, while many retailers feature goat cheese products for consumers to bring home, elevating their entertaining and their everyday.

 

Home cooks and foodies alike join in the festivities by incorporating goat cheese into their cooking. From simple salads topped with crumbled chèvre to elaborate cheeseboards paired with wine, crackers, breads, fruits, and other accoutrements, there are countless ways to enjoy goat cheese during this momentous month—and well into the rest of the year.

 

When National Goat Cheese Month commences, it’s summertime and the chèvre-ing is easy. Or is it cheesy? We say, both, but support however you care to savor it.


Goat Cheese: A History Lesson


Honoring National Goat Cheese Month is a fairly new practice compared to the history humans have with consuming goat’s milk, which has been 7,000 years, give or take. Goat cheese, also known as chèvre, wasn’t far behind; it too has a rich past that goes back thousands of years, predating ancient Greece.

 

Chèvre’s origins can be traced back to where goats were first domesticated—the Mediterranean. Favored for their adaptability to various climates and their ability to produce milk in the most challenging environments, goats have also had a prolific presence on American farms for generations. Being smaller and more agile, goats require less space for grazing than their fellow milk-producing friend, the cow. All of which primed them to produce their magnificent milk and, thankfully, the goat cheese goodness we enjoy today.


A Salute to Cheesemaking


The art of crafting goat cheese has continuously evolved across generations and continents. Some core traits of goat cheesemaking are timeless, while some parts of the process are constantly tweaked for improvement.

 

The goat cheesemaking process itself involves curdling goat's milk with rennet or an acidic substance, followed by draining and pressing the curds to form cheese. This simple yet effective method has been refined and adapted by different cultures over centuries, resulting in the diverse array of goat cheeses available today.

 

France has historically been the top producer of goat cheese, with the French word “chèvre” referring to a whole category of goat cheese: white logs of fresh, young, creamy cheese often flavored with ingredients like honey, fruit, herbs, and more. Though chèvre is a popular style (near and dear to our hearts), goat cheese comes in a vast variety of hard and soft styles.

 

In recent decades, the popularity of goat cheese has surged in the United States leading to it being more and more prevalent on restaurant menus and in grocery stores alike. Cheesemakers have experimented with different aging techniques, flavor infusions, and styles, giving way to an impressive array of goat cheese offerings—from fresh, tangy chèvre to aged and complex artisan cheeses.


selection of goat cheese products

Goat Cheese Year-Round: Cheers to Elevating the Everyday

 

Lucky for us chèvre lovers, cheesemaking has evolved such that it allows us to enjoy goat cheese in so many wonderful ways—not in August alone—but all day, every day. And when the calendar flips to month number eight, it’s so worth the wait to finally have a reason to indulge in goat cheese galore for 31 days straight!

 

National Goat Cheese Month is more than just a culinary celebration—it's a testament to the enduring appeal of goat cheese and the dedication of those who craft it. As we savor the creamy textures and complex flavors of goat cheese every August, let's reflect on its origins and its journey to become a beloved delicacy enjoyed by people around the planet. Whether you're a seasoned cheese connoisseur or an amateur foodie, go for the goat cheese this month and celebrate the art of cheesemaking in all its delicious glory.

 

Can’t wait for August to come around? Check out our Cheese Board blog for Unrivaled recipes, hosting hacks and a myriad of extraordinary ways to elevate your everyday.

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