I must confess. Before we started milking our own goats, I had never had goat’s milk.
I guess there was that chance that I would absolutely despise the taste of it and then be forced to halt all dairy goat operations. But, I like to live on the edge…
After hearing multiple people passionately explain why they thought goat’s milk was utterly disgusting, I started to get a little nervous…
And then the day of reckoning came.
I milked ol’ Cinnamon and brought her milk into the house. After carefully filtering it, I placed it in a glass jar and put it into the back of the refrigerator. (You can read all of my raw milk handling tips here.)
Once it was nice and cold, I poured a teeny tiny bit into a glass.
I peered at it suspiciously-
It looked pretty normal.
I stuck my nose in the cup and inhaled-
Nothing abnormal there, either…
My husband and I stared at it for a minute more, and then I cautiously took a sip.
It tasted like…
No goaty taste. No bitter taste. Just. Milk.
It’s rich and creamy, but most whole, raw milk is. So now I’m left wondering why goat milk gets such a bad rap…
Although I’ve never tried it, I’ve heard that the pasteurized stuff you buy in the grocery store, (ESPECIALLY the canned stuff) has a very goaty taste to it. I suspect that the store-bought version of goat milk has ruined many potential goat milk enthusiasts.
If you’ve ever had fresh goat milk that tastes a little bit off, there are a couple different factors that would be playing into the strange tastes.
1. Certain breeds may have “goatier” milk than others. Toggenburgs, for example, are said to have a stronger tasting milk, which is why they are preferred for certain types of cheesemaking.
2. A dairy animal’s diet can play a large part in the taste of the milk. If your goats have the opportunity to graze, they could be getting into weeds that have the potential to give the milk strong flavors. Now, my goats eat plenty of weeds without issue, but it just depends on what grows in your area. And if they eat lots of onions or garlic, those flavors could show up in the milk as well (but not always).
3. I’ve found that the longer the milk sits in the fridge, the goatier it gets. So, for best results, handle the milk properly, and drink it within a couple days. (It won’t hurt you to drink older milk, it just might not taste as pleasant.)
4. If you have a buck (intact male goat) in the near vicinity, don’t be surprised if your milk smells a wee bit “musky.” I didn’t really believe this until we borrowed a buck one year during breeding season… Phew! My homemade yogurt had an, er, interesting “bucky” undertone. No thanks.
And if you still can’t figure out why your milk tastes funny, check out this post with 16 possible reasons for off-flavors in milk.
So, dear goat-milk skeptic. I hope I’ve inspired you to give that goat milk at least one more try.
Find someone with a home dairy that handles their milk appropriately, and ask if you can sample a glass. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 😉
If the thought of fresh raw milk or home dairying intrigues you, check out some of my other posts:
- Why We Drink Raw Milk
- How to Milk Once Per Day
- Homemade Udder Balm
- 6 Tips for Safely Handling Raw Milk
- 20 Ways to Use Sour Raw Milk
This post was shared at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways
Can’t Get Enough Homesteading Goodness?
Join over 75,000 others who get the weekly Homestead Toolbox delivered fresh to their inbox. It’s packed full of recipes, ideas, and homesteading tips you can actually use (no fluff), plus a copy of my very popular mulch gardening how-to guide.