must've been half a dozen times in the last 3/4 weeks I've come across a reference to 'goat's cheese' in restaurant reviews and recipes - but they never give the name of the goat. Surely 'goats' cheese' or 'goat cheese' or, as the possessive used in an adjectival sense, 'goats cheese' would be better. But which one? What do you think?
In most of the recipes I use, goat cheese seems to be the one used the most. Regards, blue
I vote for 'goat cheese' ... analagous to 'whale meat.'
That must be a difference between UK English and American English - I've never heard it called goat cheese in the UK.
I've looked up Delia Smith and Nigel Slater (both highly regarded British Food Writers) and thought it was very straightforward - they both say "goat's cheese". That was fine until I looked up Josceline Dimbleby and Claire Macdonald (similarly highly regarded in the UK) who both say "goats' cheese". So the jury is still out here.
As the cheese orginates in France and we are merely translating their term "fromage du chevre" we must look to them for the answer. My French is fairly basic but I assume "chevre" is singular.
I note that goat's cheese is usually made in small rounds. It could be that the small size is that which would have traditionally been produced by a single goat. As it is a country cheese very few people would have had more than one nanny goat so perhaps that is why the singular is used. The people who made the cheese would also know the name of the goat (to reply to a previous point).
I always thought that it was spinach pie, meat pie, sausage roll, orange juice and hence cow milk, goat cheese, edam cheese, cheddar cheese etc. Different rule when referring to the animal the product comes from? Then what about bulldust?
Thanks for your views.
Blue and AnnaStrophic, like you, I think goat cheese is best. ( Or was Anna Strophic just unable to resist cruelly pinning me with her comparison?) Looking at some similar terms seems to help.
I fail to see why goat cheese should be treated any differently from other made food items like apple pie or chicken liver pate or oyster soup.
Whether actual bits and pieces like lambs fry or pigs trotters or straight extracts like cows milk should take an apostrophe is another question perhaps best left for another day. I'll just say that I think that apostrophes (unlike anastrophes) aren't always particularly useful and though we're stuck with them as long as they're used in educated written English, we shouldn't miss any opportunity we get to dispense with them. Not a universal view I know.
JMH, as you say there is no consistency of approach among food writers. I'm not sure that we must look to the French but even if we do, I think that while fromage de chevre is the most common term used, chevre fromage is used not infrequently and, occasionally, even fromage-chevre. Anyway, even though I don't agree with your conclusions I must say that I found the picture you drew of the cottager and his companion goat producing little pats of cheese a most charming one.
I've slept on it.
I noted a reference to greek yoghurt as coming from ewe's milk. I think that is the key. There is a missing word. We don't get the cheese from the goat but from the milk of the goat. It is really goat's milk cheese (or if we don't buy the farmer with his/her single goat) goats' milk cheese and we have lost the word milk over the years.
The opportunity for a 'tee-hee' I could not resist, whalemeat. Into account perhaps also should be taken the question of British vs American usage. Feta cheese, anyone?
I think you've grabbed the goat by the horns. Let sleeping goats lie.
jmh, your very own MacBeth's playwright couldn't have said it better: "Eye of newt, toe of frog, cheese of goat."*
*apocryphal edition, c. 2000
Jmh - love your repartee. There's nothing better than a quick wit to spice up the day.
Most dictionaries say "goat's milk", "mare's milk", Cow's milk".....And chevre, is THE french term for cheese made from goat's milk. No need for "fromage de..." merci pour votre question! =)
I don't know what the policy is on bring up old Qs but here goes...
I have to disagree with doogiecook on his statement that chevre is THE french term for cheese made from goat's milk. CHÈVRE is the actually the definition of a she-goat (bouc is a he-goat). Perhaps when they order the cheese (I see he is a cook) the manufacturers shorten it that way for the U.S. In Québec, by law, we must have both official languages (English & French) on packages. Packages always read as Fromage de chèvre / Goat cheese. If a cook said "donne moi de la chèvre" (give me some goat), he would definitely get meat.
Don't you just love the way a forum like this gets you thinking about expressions you've used unquestioningly for your whole life?
English appears to have little consistency (so what's new) in the use of the possessive for edible animal products. We say "chicken wings" and "turkey breast" but then "frogs' legs". The only distinction I could come up with, and it's a stretch, is that "chicken" in "chicken wings" is a reference to the meat, not the animal - i.e. wings made of that stuff we call chicken - in the same way as we would say beef steak or mutton backstraps. The word frog - despite the best efforts of the French - has never made the jump to dual usage, so we talk about the legs of the animal. "Lamb's brains" follows the "frog rule" because we don't think of its brain as being made of the meat called lamb. I'm sure that someone will rise to the challenge and find some exceptions.
Well, well. I was about to submit this, but then I thought - what about "chicken liver", "ox tongue" or "kangaroo tail" soup? Never mind, I've done so much work to type this, you may as well read this tripe. Ox tripe?.....ox's tripe?.....oxen's tripe?.....Time for your lie-down, Marty.
Hi, it's me again. One or more of the previous posts has got me wondering about use of the possessive in French. My school French is 25 years behind me, and receding fast. Does French insert the definite article - de la (feminine), du (masculine), des (plural), meaning "of the" - or omit it as in the example "fromage de chevre" given previously? I would have thought "chevre fromage" and "fromage-chevre" would make the French wince. And does the context - plant/animal, foodstuff or not, etc - make any difference?
Yes we are quite sticklers for most rules of grammar. In "Fromage de chèvre" we are saying cheese FROM goat. If I said "de la chèvre" I would be talking about one goat in particular. It also somewhat implies possession of said chèvre. I hope I have the English term correct...DE (feminine) as well as DU (masculine) and DES (both M & F) are prepositions introducing a location, origin (the goat in this case), time, possession, cause etc.
LA (feminine), LE (masculine) are the articles. As I am sure you learned, everything is either masculine of feminine in French. La chaise (chair), le bureau (desk), LES is used to indicate more than one item for both feminine and masculine items.
You are right chèvre fromage is very grating and it makes no difference if it is plant/animal etc. I find we are not too keen on removing excess articles, prepositions et al. That is why the French text on everything is twice as long as the English text. To answer your questions, always include the article & preposition and you will never go wrong.
Geez, this is the first time I have ever talked French grammar for fun. Usually I am correcting label text and arguing about it (verb tenses, of which we have, say, a bazillion, are usually the culprit.) Maybe I'm getting fuddy-duddy without knowing it. I think I'll go wrestle a bear now. Salut!
Thanks for the refresher, O dragon one.
I'm in the same boat as Marty.
Who won, you or the bear? ;-)
Not in the least surprised that discussions about food (it being a necessity) draw a large audience, I don't want to miss my cue: Did you ever reflect that, when we use possessive constructions for an animal's meat, there can be no question of possession anymore, because the subject has ceased to exist? The former subjects have been disassembled into their constituent parts
, which are treated as matter. The case of milk is different: hence cows
milk. The cow has given her milk. The goat, however, has no cheese to give, the production of goat cheese (which can contain cows milk) is beyond her reach.
<chèvre fromage is very grating>
No, for that it lacks consistency, but it can be gratifying, at least for a thread like the present one.
I was thinking what a long time ago this was:
AnnStrophic (stranger) 21st March
Jo Hilton (stranger) 22nd March
We were so young and innocent then! We thought there was an ultimate answer to the ultimate question. Now we understand chaos theory and smile sweetly as we recoognise yet another cross cultural difference.By the way it is definitely goat's cheese!
>By the way it is definitely goat's cheese!
Happily, the feta cheese is to be eaten.
it is definitely goat's cheese!
How very true, it is recognisably goat's cheese, and I think it should stay that way! Reminds me of an old joke from WW2, when the UK suffered dreadful food shortages through blockade of imports.
A government minister was being shown around a very clever experimental research project which was attempting to utilise cow muck (merde de vache?) as a component of a butter substitute.
"Well, Dr Smith, how are you progressing?" asked the minister.
"Mixed results, I'm afraid Minister" came the reply.
"Ahh. But this sample looks very good..."
"Yes, Minister - we've overcome most of the technical problems. It looks
like butter..." replied the scientist.
The Minister peered at the offering.
The Minister spead the sample on his slice of bread.
The Minister sniffed appreciatively, as his teath closed over the slice of bread.
"Just one thing, Minister - it still tastes like shit!
So the UK has a long-standing suspicion of engineered foodstuffs, as Monsanto will ultimately find to their cost.
Apologies to tsuwm or anyone else if you are offended by the previous story's inconcinnity...
...and soilant green is people...
>The former subjects have been disassembled into their constituent parts, which are treated as matter.
I've been staying out of this thread, just because... but I can't let this (YART!) go unchallenged. disassembled? at some point are we to put Chicken Little back together again? after le desgorgement some reassembly is required?
>Apologies to tsuwm or anyone else if you are offended by the previous story's inconcinnity.
any ill effects felt from your story were immediately offset by your attempt to improve your Word Power.
Happily, the feta cheese is to be eaten.
Which is a whole other ovine, if I recall correctly. I read an article in 1998 which stated that Greek law required feta to be at least 70% sheep's milk, with an allowance of up to 30% goat's milk.
We were so young and innocent then! We thought there was an ultimate answer to the ultimate question. Now we understand chaos theory and smile sweetly as we recognise yet another cross cultural difference.
Yep. In other words, feta compli...
Yep. In other words, feta compli...
Beautiful! May I plagiarise that? Not only is it a snappy pun, it's also a great way to show some of my acquaintance how to get closer to the correct pronunciation of fait accompli I just wih I could think of things like that!
or feta l'attraction...
>In "Fromage de chèvre" we are saying cheese FROM goat. If I said "de la chèvre" I would be talking about one goat in particular. It also somewhat implies possession of said chèvre. <
I think you mean possession by said chèvre, the goat doing the possessing rather than being possessed. Although I must confess the image of a goat possessed by demons has brightened my evening!
>I vote for 'goat cheese' ... analagous to 'whale meat.'<
No no no, false analogy! Compare the classic of bacon and eggs - the chicken (goat) is merely involved, while the pig (whale) is committed....
...But it is cross-cultural. I agree with Jo - definitely goat's cheese.