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Oh, the joys of goat cheese - Scranton Places & Faces on Astini News

Anyone who is on a milk-free diet knows the agony of having to turn down that piece of cheesecake. An allergy to liver and onions or pickled buffalo tongue would be preferable. People who are allergic to cow's milk products however may have an easier time digesting cheese made from the milk of sheep or goats.

All animal source milk contains the two proteins, casein and lactose, but according to Dr. Roberta Klein, dietitian nutritionist at the Klein Chiropractic Clinic in Dallas, Pa., "Sheep and goat cheese have a more digestible form of casein and are usually lower in lactose than cow's milk, especially in the harder forms of cheese. This is because the sheep and goats have a more natural diet with less hormones."

Lactose or casein intolerant travelers may have an easier time finding this cheese in stores and restaurants in Europe where it is more commonly used. Grazing areas for goats or sheep require less space than cows. These areas are more easily tucked into European neighborhoods.

In the cheese department at Wegmans in Wilkes Barre you will find goat and sheep cheeses that are so good you may not want to go back to the ordinary garden variety even if you could. Ask at the service counter for a free sample of any of the goat or sheep cheeses that are cut from large wheels.

On the shelf label above each cheese, to the left you will see the map of the country of origin. In the center is a description as to strength of taste. To the right you will see a picture of the animal the milk came from, whether goat or sheep or cow.

Soft goat cheeses to try are Triple Creme Goat Brie and President Plain Goat Cheese. Flavored soft goat cheese choices include Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese Herb Chevre and Lively Run Chevre Goat Milk Cheese in garlic and pepper, dill or fine herbs.

Hard goat cheese choices are Hollandse Chevre Natural Dutch Goat Cheese and Carr Valley Snow White Goat Cheddar. Or if you want a special gift for a cheese lover, try an elegant wheel of The Drunken Goat, a delicious goat cheese bathed in red wine.

Excellent choices in sheep cheese are Manchego Raw Milk Cheese with an amazing nutty flavor, Istara P'tit Basque Sheep Cheese with its fantastic pungent aroma, and the double duty Wegmans Pecorino Romano Sheep Cheese which is available in block form or shredded. The most favorite choice however is Boschetto al Tartufo (Boschetto with Truffles), an expensive sheep cheese but one that amazingly good.

My personal favorite is a small and very delicious item, Celebrity International Goat Cheese with cranberry and cinnamon. This is a soft spreadable cheese that slides down sweet and tangy, perfect for that holiday tray with an assortment of rice crackers. This cheese also comes in blueberry and cinnamon, rum and raisin, or herb.

Who needs cheesecake? You may very well find yourself stocking up.

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