Tell me why: Goat’s milk butter July 22, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading, recipes.
Tags: goat's milk, goat's milk butter, goats, homemade butter
Silence Dogood here (again). After writing this morning’s post, “When life gives you curdled milk, make butter,” about an experience some friends and I just had making homemade butter, I began to wonder why I never saw any goat’s milk butter in stores. (Or anywhere else, for that matter. Even at the nearby Emmaus Farmers’ Market, where a family-owned organic goat dairy has a stand, they sell everything but butter.) I’ve had great experiences making homemade yogurt from goat’s milk—it’s rich and wonderful—and of course, we love chevre and other goat’s milk cheeses. Milk, cheese, yogurt… but no butter. Why? I had the feeling that goat’s milk butter would be delicious.
Curious, I had a little talk with my good friend Google and turned up all sorts of interesting tidbits. First, I found that Meyenberg goat’s milk butter is available in upscale stores for $7.99 per half-pound. (Guess that proves that no store around here qualifies as “upscale,” since nobody carries goat’s milk butter in our area. And alas, it also proved that even if it were available, we couldn’t afford it.) The butter was described by the lucky tasters as luscious and smooth, with a slight chevre tang, and they revealed that it didn’t harden in the fridge, making it perfect for spreading on a crusty baguette or the bread or cracker of your choice.
Mmmmm. Our friend Ben and I are ready to grab a baguette and some goat’s milk butter right now and serve it with a salad of ’Brandywine’ tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil, topped with some kalamata olives, drizzled with green olive oil and Real Salt, and enjoyed with a glass of Cabernet or Shiraz. Ahhhh. So, okay, if it’s that good, why isn’t it readily available?
An article on the Mother Earth News site (www.motherearthnews.com) with the unlikely title of “Yes, you can make goat without a separator” (we’d rather not, thanks; we’ll leave that to Monsanto) provided some answers. First, it revealed that goat’s milk had very little cream, and that it was quite difficult to separate it out unless you had a hugely expensive separator.
But then the article went on to tell how the author had overcome these obstacles by skimming off a little cream from a gallon of chilled milk every day (starting with a new gallon of fresh milk each day) until, after five days, she had about a pint of cream. Then she whipped the cream in her mixer and rinsed it numerous times with ice water, pressed out all the water from the butter, compressed the butter into a butter mold, refrigerated the mold for 15 minutes, and turned the molded butter out to use as needed. (See the article for details.)
Of course, this article was published in 1978, and much about making butter from goat’s milk may have changed since then. But I’m intrigued nonetheless. Sadly, I’m sure that 5 gallons of goat’s milk would cost significantly more than $7.99, so I probably won’t be making goat’s milk butter anytime soon. But if you do, or if you’ve ever tasted it, please share your experience with us. I would love to know more!
‘Til next time,