What Is The Difference Between Feta Cheese And Goat Cheese?

When you move on from the more common cheddar, Swiss, or mozzarella to what many call the "stinky" cheeses, it can be difficult to know the difference. In the case of feta cheese and goat cheese, there are many distinctions.

The biggest difference between feta cheese and goat cheese is the type of milk they are made from. Goat cheese is, unsurprisingly, made entirely with goat milk, while feta cheese can be made entirely from sheep's milk, but can also have a small percentage of goat milk. If goat milk is used, it can't make up more than 30 percent of the cheese product, or the cheese can no longer be classified as feta cheese (via Panlasang Pinoy).

As far as feta goes, it has three types: French, Bulgarian, and Greek. French feta cheese is made with 100 percent sheep's milk tends to be creamier than other varieties. Bulgarian feta is also made from 100 percent sheep's milk, and it's also creamy, but is saltier than French feta. Greek feta is considered "real" feta. As with the way that Champagne refers to sparkling wine made in the Champagne region, feta, as defined by the European Union, refers to Greek feta. This version is usually made with a combination of sheep and goat's milk, with a proportion of 70 percent or more of sheep's milk. It is very creamy and salty (via Tastessence).

Which cheese should you buy?

Both cheeses have slightly different nutrition profiles as well. Feta cheese contains probiotics — in other words, a type of bacteria that can kill harmful bacteria, such as E. coli or Listeria (via Healthline). It also contains more cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates than goat cheese. However, goat cheese is higher in calories and saturated fat than feta cheese.

Many people like or dislike certain types of cheese because of their texture. While goat and feta cheese are similar in texture, feta cheese tends to be chunkier while goat cheese is usually more crumbly.

When it comes to taste, there are also some differences. Feta cheese is salty and can be a little bitter. Goat cheese is even saltier than feta, with a flavor more similar to cream cheese.

The cost of cheese can play a significant role in the type consumers choose to purchase. Feta cheese, which is usually more readily available than goat cheese, is usually less expensive. However, goat cheese has become more available recently, which has caused it to drop in price. While they are similarly priced, goat cheese is still usually slightly more expensive than feta cheese. 

If you're looking to try one or both, these types of cheeses are generally available in the gourmet cheese section of any grocery store.