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#742 03/20/00 06:00 AM
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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?


#743 03/20/00 08:03 PM
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In most of the recipes I use, goat cheese seems to be the one used the most. Regards, blue


#744 03/22/00 12:58 AM
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I vote for 'goat cheese' ... analagous to 'whale meat.'


#745 03/22/00 10:55 PM
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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).



#746 03/23/00 05:35 AM
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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?



#747 03/23/00 05:46 AM
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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.




#748 03/23/00 08:10 AM
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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.



#749 03/23/00 08:02 PM
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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?


#750 03/23/00 10:35 PM
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AnnaStrophic
I think you've grabbed the goat by the horns. Let sleeping goats lie.


#751 03/24/00 12:27 AM
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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


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