Cheese becomes cheese through “acidification,” a process that hardens and isolates solids in milk, allowing them to be manipulated into different cheese styles. Goat cheese is a type of cheese enjoyed by many, but can vegans eat it? Is goat cheese vegetarian?
Generally speaking, goat cheese is not vegetarian, so vegans cannot eat it. Goat cheese is produced using rennet obtained from a kid goat, usually from the stomach lining.
Rennet usually comes in a powdery form or a liquid form, and a small amount of rennet can be used to coagulate a large amount of milk.
Vegetarian cheeses, however, are coagulated or hardened using a synthetic rennet derived from yeast or plant-derived rennet from the Cardoon thistle plant.
What is Goat Cheese?
Goat Cheese is a type of cheese that is made from the milk of a goat.
In its simplest form, goat cheese is made by allowing goat milk to curdle naturally and then draining the curds or clumps of milk.
Another technique used to make goat cheese is the use of an acid from vinegar or lemon or the use of the enzyme rennet to harden the milk.
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If your love for cheese is often clouded with the guilt of taking in ungodly amounts of calories, well, we have some good news for you.
Goat cheese or chèvre (the French pronunciation) is made with goat’s milk and is considered more nutritionally healthier when compared to cow cheese or any other cheeses.
What is Goat Cheese Made Up Of?
Goat cheese’s primary content is goat milk which is low in casein, a milk protein that helps in the coagulation of milk.
This means that goat cheese produces small clumps or curds that break easily.
Thus, goat cheese is softer and tangier than cheese made from cow milk.
Unapologetic, goats’ cheese is intense, providing earthy and tangy shades that sharply sweep the taste buds.
Low in fat, it clocks in as a lighter alternative to most cheeses. Its subtle bitterness enlivens surrounding flavors while also offering a rich savor.
Is Goat Cheese Vegetarian?
Some vegetarians do eat cheese.
A vegetarian is someone who abstains from eating the flesh of animals – so no pork, no beef, no poultry, no fish. Other types of animal products, such as milk, dairy, and eggs, are usually part of a vegetarian’s diet.
The rule is: “I don’t eat anything that requires the killing of an animal.”
Like all cheeses, goat cheese can be produced using either animal rennet or plant-based rennet, and cheeses made with plant-based rennet are vegetarian.
This means that several kinds of cheese made according to specific recipes cannot be considered vegetarian, but many of them have vegetarian equivalents.
You need to be aware of this issue and read the labels of what you purchase.
Is Goat Cheese Made with Rennet?
As stated above (though we’ll run through it again for emphasis), YES, goat cheese is made from rennet.
Rennet is an enzyme derived from the stomach lining of a kid goat which helps in the coagulation of goat milk.
In case you don’t feel comfortable using rennet, there are alternatives.
Plant-derived rennet, specifically from the Cardoon thistle plant, can be used in place of the rennet from an animal.
If you do not have access to the plant, you still can use the acidic juice from vinegar or lemon to harden the milk.
Thus, rennet isn’t the only component that can be used to make goat cheese.
Can Vegetarians Eat Goat Cheese?
Some people use the term “plant-based,” which cannot be precisely defined; therefore, someone on a plant-based diet may choose to eat non-vegetarian products like goat cheese.
Putting all points into consideration, Goat cheese is not in any way vegetarian. It is made using the enzyme, rennet which is gotten from animals and the only way it is gotten is the killing of the animal.
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