I thought I’d blog about a recent taste test I did. You will have to forgive me for not posting a picture, since I didn’t take one! My camera is somewhere in a box anyway.
The other day I was reading a thread on www.homesteadingtoday.com about raw milk. It was goats milk vs. cow’s milk, and what do you prefer, etc. Now, I will tell you since the get-go I have planned that once we move to the property, we will get a dairy goat. They are smaller, cheaper, easier to manage, and my husband loves goat cheese. Plus our parcel of the land is more wooded and while we will do quite a bit more clearing once we move up there (we did do some this summer and if I can get the pictures off the camera I will post them) it’s a habitat more suited to a goat than a cow for sure. Lots of brushy browse, not so much pasture.
Cows, on the other hand, are more expensive to buy, but produce significantly more milk. Fencing for cows is cheaper, more expensive for goats since they are little houdinis. Not sure on the feed costs. Another advantage to cows is that the goats milk is naturally homogenized. That’s a good thing if you like drinking raw milk, but in our family we like drinking skim milk, along with eating butter, cream cheese, regular cheese, etc. Cow’s milk will separate which makes it easier to process into the things we would like to eat.
Except… one of the biggest things people kept saying in that thread is – TASTE the milks and see what you like best. Duh, that makes sense. I’ve read from many people that fresh, properly handled goats milk doesn’t taste any different than cow’s milk. So the other day I went to the local co-op store and got some local fresh raw goats milk and cows milk. One taste, and I knew. I can’t drink goats milk. It was not BAD tasting, but the goats milk had a tang, or edge to it, that I just did not care for. My kids didn’t seem to notice. It wasn’t a BAD flavor, it was just different than what I preferred. I would drink it if I had to, and would not whine about it :
The cow’s milk, however… wow. I was blown away by how rich and creamy it tasted. There was something about this milk that reminded me of the richness and “indulgent-ness” of eggnog. It was so rich (I believe 4.5% fat) that I could only drink small cups of it at a time. For what it’s worth, the milk I bought was from Jackie’s Jerseys in Bellingham, WA. I can truthfully say that NOW I understand why people say drinking raw milk is REAL milk. I savored it and hoarded it all to myself, that little half gallon that I bought. Unfortunately, we are in a temporary house with only a mini-fridge so I can’t continue to buy it, but I am hoping to make the switch to raw milk once we get settled in our new house. I think I could figure out how to skim it and then use the cream and butter… we go through a lot of dairy in our house! My mouth is watering thinking about it.
So there’s my review. Now naturally this brings up a conundrum – when we move to the property, why would I get a goat when I don’t like the milk? Even Ballerina Girl who will drink a half gallon of milk in a day if I let her (and no that is not an exaggeration) agreed that the cow’s milk was “lots yummier” than the goats milk. But now I have to plan to either find someone to buy a milk share from, or keep a dairy cow. I could probably keep it at my parents place, but then I’d have to walk down to their place each morning and evening to milk. I suppose we’ll figure out once we get to that point.
I guess the moral of the story is this – don’t make plans without TESTING it first. If I had gotten a goat for milk without trying goat milk first I would have been mightily disappointed. And I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s not!