In classes or interviews I’m often asked by a person who is lactose intolerant (or has such in their life) if there are cheeses they can make which will be more digestible given their condition. Yes, there are many. Of course the level of lactose differs from one milk to another, and from one cheese to another, but here some general points to consider. Plus, each lactose-intolerant person has his/her own level of intolerance. Goat’s milk has a slightly lower level of lactose than cow’s milk which means goat cheese may be easier to digest than cow’s milk cheese. In cheese making, we are converting (via fermentation) the lactose in the milk into lactic acid. Lactose is fuel for this process. Only a small amount of the lactose in the milk will be present in the finished cheese. Most of the lactose will be lost to the whey or during the fermentation process. Lactose has beneficial purposes in the making of the cheese, factors we can chat about later. Fresh cheeses, by nature of the residual whey in them (and therefore more lactose) along with less fermentation (less lactose lost) may be more problematic than aged cheeses which are drier (more lactose lost to whey which has been greatly reduced or totally lost in the aging process) and have been influenced by extended fermentation (again more lactose removed). The more aged the cheese, the easier to digest. Make sense? So, I encourage any L-I cheese lover to go forth and try your hand at making some tasty aged cheeses and enjoy eating them. Please share your dairy cheese-related successes in dealing with lactose intolerance.
Mary Karlin on Invitation to join E-List Marcia Luick on Invitation to join E-List Mary Karlin on About Peter Plantec on I’m lactose intolerant.… Roberto Lancellotti on About