What do goats and bees have in common? If you answered they create easily digested food that is loaded with vitamins and minerals, you are right! Both contain vitamin A, some B vitamin, as well as trace elements of minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese. And here in the Okanagan Valley, the Land of Milk and Honey, we are lucky to have goat and bee products readily available.
The dairy goat industry is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada. The same sort of products that are made from cows milk are also made from goats milk - homogenized, two per cent, one per cent, skim, organic and chocolate milk, all types of cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, eggnog, ice cream and sherbet. And more products are being introduced all the time.
But by far the biggest goat milk product is cheese and not just the soft unripened chevre people may be familiar with. There is also goat medium-aged cheddar, mozzarella, feta and brie. Consumers can also buy aged goat cheddar and goat Gouda now available in select stores across Canada.
In addition to edibles, skin products made from goat's milk can be purchased from health food stores, some grocery and drug stores, and at farmer's markets. Soaps and lotions made with pure goat's milk are good for the skin because of the higher fatty acids. In fact, the PH balance of fatty acids is similar to the PH balance found in the human body. This means it is gentle and will add moister to your skin, as well as making it easier for your skin to absorb the vitamins and minerals present.
Goat cheese artisans Ofri and Ofer Barmor were already professional goat farmers when they opened Carmeli's Goat Cheese Artisan Inc. in 2003. They brought their expertise from Isreal to Canada and saw a niche in the Kelowna's area. "Sixty-five percent of the world's population is lactose intolerant, and goat's milk is easy to digest," commented Ofri. This means that many people who may not be able to tolerate cow's milk can enjoy Carmeli's many types of cheese. There are thirteen varieties, and they range from soft ripened, to cheeses aged over two years. After creating the impressive array, gelato was added to the storefront to appeal to a broader market. "Children really enjoy it". New owners, the Burns, could not agree more. They are delighted with the legacy of Carmeli's and are dedicated to carrying on the tradition of quality. Thomas Burns mentioned, "We are interested in educating people about the benefits of consuming goat's milk products, and if you can call ahead and have eight or more people, you can book a guided tour."
Carmeli's is proud to provide top-notch consumables, and that starts with the goat's diet. They are fed all natural food, free of chemicals and additives.
*Carmeli's Goat Cheese Artisan Inc., 170 Timberline Road, Kelowna, BC V1W 4J6. Phone ahead for a tour of the facilities at: 250-764-9033. Order products on-line at: www.carmelisgoatcheese.com