18 March 2014

Delamere Dairies' goats milk products : a heartfelt review!

I really like goats.  I like their silly characters, their lust for life and adorable faces.  I even liked old Harvey, a billy goat I used to know who once got free from his pen and ambushed a 3* Hotel in Surrey by getting into the dining room, then refusing to be lured out of the front door by the chef bearing bread rolls, ultimately requiring frog marching down the driveway and back to his pen by myself and a friend.  (Harvey, that is, not the chef).  Yes, I even liked smelly old Harvey.

Somewhere around 35 years ago, I had my first taste of goat's milk and approved.  However, because it wasn't easily available i.e. in the local supermarket, I didn't take it any further.  I wish I had, now that I discover how sensitive I have become to cow's milk.  I could have saved myself all that bother!
Harvey - a legend in his own lifetime

So, fast forward to now and we were in our local supermarket when I noticed a 2 litre carton of goat's milk and decided to invest in it.  I had read how much easier to digest goat's milk is from cow's and how skin troubles such as psoriasis (which I get occasionally) are helped by it.  Well, I had no idea quite how much of a difference it would make.

Immediately, almost all my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms upped and disappeared.  I noticed that immediately of course, but was leery of putting it down to the goat's milk until a few days had passed.  Yes, things like beetroot and spring onions can still bring on a full IBS attack, but now I can go for weeks without suffering it.  However, the effect of drinking cow's milk - in a latte or chai, for instance - is startling and something that, no doubt you're comforted to know, I won't go into here.

Goat's milk does still contain lactose - but in much less quantity than with cow's milk.  So if your problem is lactose intolerance as opposed to an allergy, you may find you can do very well using Goat's milk.  Interestingly, Goat's milk is non-mucous forming and can even help to neutralise mucus production.  People with perpetual runny noses and hay fever have been known to experience almost instant relief on Goat's milk.

With me, one other thing that has been affected - and it can only be the change in milk, because nothing else has ever changed it - is the venous eczema that I have on the front of my shins.  This is basically like any other kind of eczema, involving dry skin and itchiness.  Well, since changing to goat's milk, the eczema has improved hand over fist.  It hasn't gone - well, it's been there for so long, I suspect it would take a while and the loss of a significant amount of weight for it to go - but the improvement in it is quite radical - and ongoing.

Spreadable goat's cheese with ham and with cherry tomatoes
So I thought I'd find out more about goat's milk products, which led me to Delamere Dairies and their Facebook page.  Being so enthused about goat's milk products, I offered to sample some of theirs - and give them a review here on Rhubarb & Ginger.  So here we are.

The very next thing to happen, was the arrival of a large polystyrene box.  I opened it carefully, keen to see what was inside - and as I removed the lid, out popped a goat!  Well I wasn't expecting THAT!  Nerys (for that is her name), is however, a plushie goat so should hopefully be cheap to keep as she won't be eating the furniture, curtains or our shoes.

Look out!  Nerys is on the loose!
Once we'd wrestled Nerys into submission, we unpacked the remainder of the box.  Well, what a gorgeous lot of goodies!  A raspberry (for me) and strawberry (for hubby) goat's milk yoghurt - both probiotic - disappeared down the hatch straight away and my goodness but they're tasty.  Absolutely no hint of goat until the very last trace of fruity flavour has disappeared from your tongue - and then it is no more than you would detect in the goat's milk or a soft goat's cheese.

Now I could go through and just tell you how everything tasted, but that'd be dull and not my style.  So I immediately got to work on "doing something with" everything in the box.



First up, was the fantastic probiotic goat's yoghurt with honey.  Oh my word, but this stuff is to die for.  Goat's yoghurt is very like Greek yoghurt, except it is a little bit whiter - as it contains no carotene - and has a much silkier texture.  If you've ever had a "Pearl de lait" yoghurt, that's the closest I can come by way of comparison.  I'm going to run out of superlatives during this review, I can tell.


I made a breakfast fruit plate, involving three types of melon and some passion fruit - all of which would go so very well with honey.  Mmmmmn, starting the day with gorgeous sweet melon, set off with tangy sharp passion fruit and the smooth, silky yoghurt - well you can't ask for better.  It would make a lovely light dessert, too!

Then there were the ubiquitous goat's cheeses, that received my lunchtime attention.  Even here they had a little edge of difference.  There is the silky, mildly flavoured spreadable goat's cheese that is a lighter daughter of ricotta & mascarpone - except goat instead of cow.  This one would be a perfect candidate for making cheesecake, although I haven't tried to yet.  Note the "yet".

L-R The herby, the spreadable, the medium matured and the one with honey.
Then there are the two "logs" of goat's cheese - one with herbs and one with honey.  I seriously can't choose between the two to name a favourite.  The herb goat's cheese goes so well with cucumber, the one with honey is fabulous with a squeeze of lemon juice.  They are both so cleanly flavoured, with a little tang yet so creamy too.

Goat's cheese with honey
Lastly for the cheese, there is a block of medium matured hard goat's cheese.  I just love this one.  I love how the cheese is so white and crumbly - very like Feta - with an intriguing, complex flavour that just lasts and lasts on the tongue.  From being crumbled into a salad, through being toasted for a sandwich, to just appearing on a cracker, there's no job this fantastic cheese isn't capable of doing.

Oh and let's not forget the goat's butter!  Made from the cream of the milk, goat's butter ordinarily comes up less yellow than cow's would do because of the lack of carotene.  It's the flavour that counts though - and goat's butter is so much lighter in texture than cow's.  It doesn't feel so heavy, or claggy - and is just divine on some hot toast.

The herby one.  Mmmmn, good!
I put the butter to use in making a couple of open sandwiches - both with the spreadable goat's cheese but one with honey roast ham (fantastic combination) and the other with some sliced cherry tomatoes with a dash of salt & pepper.  Now the ham one was good - but the creamy, delicious goat's cheese paired up with the sweet tomato, on goat's butter, on some fabulous sourdough bread - now that was a thing of beauty.

I seriously think that I will never drink cow's milk again (which I feel a bit bad about, knowing the trouble the milk producers are having keeping going at the moment), but looking at the health benefits, quite apart from the gorgeous flavour, it just has to be worth it, for me.

Medium matured- crumbly!
As for the goat's yoghurt, goat's butter and goat's cheese - well, they all get a serious "thumbs up!" from not just me, but the entire Eatwell family.  I've even got my Mum over onto the goat's milk!

Even my son has swapped from cow's milk to goat's for his bedtime glass of milk.  Nerys, of course, has a cookie with hers.



Thank you, Delamere Dairies, for being such good sports and also your remarkable generosity.  More power to your goaty elbows - and give the goaty girls a pat from me, the very next time you see them!

Proof - if proof were required.  ;)


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