Has anyone else experienced this? Even the two cloves of raw garlic in this spread couldn't overcome it. Seriously. I still smell raw sheep fat on my breath.
Did I get a bad piece, or is this sheep-y taste common to sheep's milk feta?
Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)
Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I have a friend who raises goats and makes feta, and she says the gaminess has to do in part with the maker's milking practices. She is super careful to fully clean the goats before milking and then filter the milk right away. Your sheep milk person probably allowed a bit more sheep than one would like into the mix. I would toss it ...
Thanks, Abbie. Don't worry. This is so unpleasant there's no way I would eat it. It's labelled "organic," not that says much in this case.
What you're tasting is probably lanolin--the oil that makes the sheep's coat somewhat water-resistant. Or there's a chance the shepherd is letting the rams run with the ewes, which is not good for cheese (rams are musky, stinky suckers). Either way, the cheese producer should know better. Some funk is great in farmstead cheeses, but it shouldn't taste like you're licking a sheep.
Thanks, petitblu, but not lanolin. It smells like the fat on a lamb chop or leg of lamb, immediately identifiable, which I find rather disturbing. Unless sheeps milk just smells like that, but I've never noticed it in a pecorino Romano.
I've had sweaters knit from the wool that still has the lanolin in it -- great for keeping dry in fog or drizzles. So I definitely know what that smells like. Now your second idea... ;)
I emailed my friend and asked what she thinks about this - she said it can also happen when the farmer doesn't cool the milk properly / quickly - another one for the "funky" column. ugh.
I have never actually licked a sheep but I imagine it is unpleasant :-)
LOL, Abbie! Something I imagine only another sheep would enjoy. Thanks for following up on this.
The sweet staple that James Beard Award-winner Joanne Chang swears by.
The Best Natural Sweetener
Eat Your Way Around Italy
What's New in the Neighborhood
Sweater Weather Soups & Stews
The Hits Keep Coming