The canned goat milk from the grocery store does taste pretty bad, I'm told. In my opinion, the canned cow's milk from the grocery store tastes pretty bad too. But that's not good, fresh milk, so I think it's comparing apples to oranges. Both apples and oranges are round and grow on trees, but that's where the similarities end.
Factors that affect the taste of goat milk include freshness, the goat's diet, her environment, and how the milk is handled after milking.
If you were to buy goat milk in a carton from the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store, keep in mind that the milk is several days away from the goat. It's not fresh. On the other hand, if you own your own goat and collect fresh milk every morning, that milk is FRESH. The taste will prove it.
Many plants and herbs will affect the taste of the milk. Eating wild onions, for instance, will give the milk an onion-y taste. We've noticed that ragweed will change the taste, as can other plants. Another culprit is feed that includes soy.
A goat that lives in a dirty environment, lying around on dirty straw, will produce off-flavored milk. Keeping a strong-smelling buck near the does, or in the same pen, can also cause the milk to taste "bucky". If you've ever smelled a buck in rut, you'll know what I'm talking about.
How you handle the milk once it comes out of the goat's udder is a big factor as well. Chill the milk as quickly as possible - I wrote about this here. Keep it cold. Drink it while it's fresh. We drink this morning's milk today; tomorrow we will drink tomorrow morning's milk.
Keep everything clean, clean, clean, from the milk bucket to the jars that store your milk. Milk your goat in the cleanest environment possible. Wash your equipment thoroughly and rinse it very well.
If you are used to drinking 2%, 1% or even skim milk from the store, goat milk might taste "funny" at first. Fresh goat milk is whole milk, with none of the fat removed. Switching from 1% cow milk to whole cow milk will taste funny too.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, but the cream will eventually separate a bit and rise to the top of the jar. Simply shake the jar to mix it up again, or spoon off the cream to go in your coffee.
So, how does goat milk taste? It tastes like milk.
Click Here to like Oak Hill Homestead on Facebook