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Cheeses From Another Udder: Alternative Milk Cheeses

Marinated Feta Cheese with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Cheese is consistently a crowd-pleaser. From slices of cheddar on burgers to a glamorous cheese plate for dessert, this is party food at its finest. And the best parties – like the best cheese plates – are diverse and well rounded.

Cheddar, Brie and Gorgonzola are beloved staples, and they have one very specific thing in common – they are all crafted from cow’s milk. We’re all for cow’s milk cheeses, but in order to have a serious party (or cheese plate), we’ve got to invite alternative milk cheeses. Let’s explore them together.

Greek Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese and Olives

Greek Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese and Olives

Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Tangy and slightly herbal, goat cheese is sometimes more easily digested by those with aversions to cow’s milk cheeses. Also look for cheeses labeled chèvre, the French word for goat cheese.

  • Fresh goat cheese is often found in logs or tubs. This soft, lemony cheese makes an excellent and mild spread.
  • Bûcheron is a smooth, zesty goat cheese with a white, edible rind. Try it sliced on whole grain toast.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for goat’s milk Brie, Gouda, cheddar and jack, too, for more familiar textures.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

Sweet and nutty in flavor, sheep’s milk cheeses are often higher in protein and fat than cow’s milk cheeses.

  • Feta is a brined block cheese that crumbles like a dream, but is also great for cubing into salads.
  • Halloumi is a squeaky, grill-able cheese that offers a fun introduction to sheep’s milk cheeses.
  • Manchego is nutty and sweet with a dark cross-hatched rind. Try it with other Spanish favorites, Marcona almonds and quince paste.

Pesto Turkey Burgers with Grilled Halloumi

Pesto Turkey Burgers with Grilled Halloumi

Buffalo’s Milk Cheeses

Buffalo’s milk cheeses are creamy and rich with a distinct sweetness. These are not the buffalo of the North American plains, but instead the smaller, curly-horned Asian water buffalos.

  • Buffalo mozzarella is much more moist and rich than its cow’s milk counterpart. This cheese is irresistible fresh, but excellent just melted atop a simple pizza, as well.

Food52's Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint

Food52's Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint

Which alternative milk cheeses will you explore? Share your favorite ways to feature these unique offerings in the comments section below.

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joyce cash says …

looking for a french goat cheese with a chocolate outer layer i think the spelling is bouchevondil

Deb Gross says …

Do you have Kite Hill White Alder in the Seattle areas stores?

Constance Cunningham says …

I am looking for almond milk cheeses such as Kite Hill. Will these be available soon at the Portland or other NorthEast Whole Foods Market? I believe they aer available in CA. It's Ok I love Manchego and Buffalo Mozzarella too.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DEB - I would suggest calling the specific store you plan to shop with in Seattle to see what they have in stock. Our products can vary between stores in the same region.

peggy says …

very much looking forward to Whole Foods cheese section. I hope you'll consider carring Rublechon regularly. A competitor used to carry it but stopped. It may need a bit of promoting via sampling but it's AWESOME

Walter Sachs says …

We are looking forward to your Tallahassee store! Please offer St. Jorge cheese from Portugal. It is the best and a sure seller!

Lee Ganim says …

Do you stock Fiscalini cheese? and approx. the cost per wheel

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LEE - Our products and pricing will differ between stores. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock and the price point!

Kathryn LaVoie says …

I saw where Treeline Cheese was mentioned on Facebook. A lot of the people are veggan so they are always looking to anything without meat. Can you tell me if you have this or will be getting it anytime soon. Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KATHRYN - Our exact products differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what they have in stock!

Toba Bimby says …

Looking for Almondmilk Cheese.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TOBA - Most of our stores should offer an almond or rice milk option. Since our products will differ between stores, check with your local store to see if they have this in stock.