Wednesday 13 December 2017

Taste test: Goat's Cheese

Homemade beer bread with goat's cheese, tomatoes and chives.
Homemade beer bread with goat's cheese, tomatoes and chives.

Katy McGuinness

Aside from the debate about where to put the apostrophe (is it goat's cheese or goats' cheese?) or whether to leave it out altogether (goats cheese or goat cheese?), which of the many goat's cheeses on supermarket shelves is the best? We were looking for a versatile soft, spreadable goat's cheese for everyday use in sandwiches and omelettes, rather than the fancier type that you might put on a cheeseboard at the end of dinner. This is how our testers rated the six that we tried.

Aldi Specially Selected Irish Spreadable Goats' Cheese, 120g, €1.69 8/10

Described as 'distinctly creamy', this full-fat goat's cheese is made using goat's milk from Cork, and has luscious mouth-feel and a rich texture. The price is excellent, and this would be our pick for anyone who likes a particularly creamy cheese although be aware that the calorie count is the highest of the cheeses tested at 320kcal per 100g.

St Tola Original (widely available), 120g, €3.99 8/10

This artisan cheese is handcrafted in The Burren, Co Clare and is probably the best known Irish goat's cheese on the market. The texture is on the dry side, it's preservative and additive free and tastes delicious. Price-wise, it's at the upper end of the scale.

Tesco Goat's Cheese, 150g, €1.99 6/10

A medium-fat soft goat's cheese, this French-produced mild-flavoured cheese with a fresh, lemony taste is well-priced and suitable for salads and sandwiches. Calorie-wise, it is the lowest of those that we tested, at 158kcal per 100g.

Le Cabridoux (widely available), 125g, €3.39 5/10

Probably the best known goat's cheese on the Irish market, the distinctive tub will be familiar to many. Given that it's almost double the price of the Tesco own-brand cheese, which is also French, we would choose the Tesco version over this.

Marks & Spencer Welsh Goat's Cheese, 125g, €3.69 4/10

Our testers found this log-shaped cheese rather bland, so it's perhaps best suited to children or others preferring a very mild flavour. Given the price, we'd opt for an Irish-made cheese over this.

Merci Chef Goat Cheese, 125g, €3.49 4/10

This log-shaped French cheese is acceptable but wasn't a favourite with any of our testers. At this price point, we would prefer to buy Irish.

Irish Independent

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