Last week, I acquired a gallon of raw goat milk. Sold as Not For Human Consumption per the busybodies in Raleigh who think they know what is best for everyone. But anyway.
I’ve been entertaining the possibility of raising goats, but I wanted to experience the product before investing in the means of production. I’d heard horror stories about how unpleasant the smell can be, etc., and how the smell/taste can vary greatly due to breed of goat, proximity of a buck and how the milk is handled after collection.
The only source I could find was from Alpine goats, which are common dairy goats, but are known for how much the taste can vary from doe to doe. I’d prefer Nigerian Dwarf goat milk, because of it’s consistency across the breed and the much higher fat content, but the closest farm with them had let their does go dry already in preparation for an early spring delivery of the next generation. So Alpine milk it was.
I’m not a huge milk person. I occasionally have cereal, and I will use a little milk or cream when I make mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs, but that’s about it. But I like cheese and butter, and I use significant quantities of both. Hence, the adventure. I figure that if I like the milk, I’ll like the cheese and butter too.
I finally got up the nerve to try it yesterday. I opened the bottle and sniffed. Huh. Smells like milk. Meaning, no particularly strong smell of any kind. So I poured myself a glass. Tastes like milk, too. Since about the only way I actually drink milk is as chocolate milk, I poured the requisite amount of Hershey’s syrup in it, stirred and enjoyed. I had another pint today before I came to work.
I’ll get a gallon from the folks with the Nigerians in March, but so far dairy goats are a definite possibility.
Goats are also raised for meat. I am considering that option as well, so I also set out to acquire some goat meat. All I could find was a farm that raised Kikos, and their meat selection was limited. I’m pretty sure I want Boers if I do meat goats, but I couldn’t find any available locally. So, I bought a pair of shanks and a pound of ground goat.
Last week, I invited Dear Niece over for tacos and proceeded to make them using the ground goat. There was no strong or peculiar odor from the meat, either as it cooked or once it was done. With all the spices and fixings that go into tacos, I couldn’t tell a significant difference in taste between it and beef tacos. DN agreed, but said that the texture seemed a little different than beef to her. Not bad, just different. We both enjoyed our tacos.
A few minutes after I finished the last one, I noticed a mild but definite aftertaste in my mouth. When questioned, DN acknowledged noticing it as well. It wasn’t necessarily unpleasant, but it was disconcerting, mostly because it was unexpected. It lingered for a bit, but eventually passed. I’ll try braising the shanks at some point and will reserve judgment on goats as a meat source until then.