Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt

Some of us remember when all yogurts made in the U.S. were tart, the way they were made in Europe and elsewhere.

Over time, to get more Americans (and their children) to enjoy yogurt, more sugar was added to diminish the tartness.

It worked: Yogurt became a best-seller in supermarkets.

For those who prefer tartness, though, Bellwether Farms Sheep’s Milk Yogurt is the delectable answer.

Fans of Greek yogurt will like the extra tartness of their sheep’s milk yogurt.

It doesn’t have a “sheepy” taste; just rich, creamy, thick and tart, with 10g total sugars per 6-ounce container (other yogurts can have twice the sugar).

Bellwether Farms, in Sonoma County (north of San Francisco), is a family farm making sheep’s cheese and yogurt since 1986. (A bellwether is the leading sheep of a flock, and has a bell on its neck.)

The sheep are a Northern European breed called East Friesian, among the best milk producing sheep in the world.

The pastures are free of herbicides and artificial fertilizers, and the sheep are never given growth hormones (they’re rBst-/rBSTfree).

The award-winning yogurts are made in:

  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Plain (a substitute for sour cream or crème fraïche)
  • Spiced Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
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    The yogurts are sold at fine food stores nationwide. Here’s a store locator.

    Discover more of dairy’s products at BellwetherFarms.com.
     
     
    ABOUT SHEEP’S MILK YOGURT

    Sheep were the first animals to be domesticated*, as mankind transitioned from nomadic hunters to sedentary farmers. The domestication date is estimated between 11,000 and 8,000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia.

    Eventually, man discovered how to transform the milk into yogurt and cheese†.

    While sheep and goats** are still the staple dairy animals in many areas of the world, cows have replaced sheep in countries that have enough grazing land for the large animals.

    The reason is economic: cows give a higher yield of milk.

  • A sheep can give just one quart of milk per day (a high-producing breed, 1.5 quarts); a goat, 3 quarts; a cow, 14 quarts.
  • The lower yield is also why goat’s and sheep’s milk products are usually more expensive than their cow’s milk counterparts.
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    HEALTH & NUTRITION BENEFITS

    Sheep’s milk has 48% more protein than, and twice the calcium of. cow’s milk.

    Is higher in vitamins A, B (B1, niacin; B2, riboflavin; B5, folic acid; and B12), C, D and E, has higher levels of biotin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and has less sodium.

  • All-natural: Sheep are not given growth hormones; all the milk is rBGH-free.
  • Cholesterol: The short chain fatty acid (stearic acid) has also been found to have little effect on human cholesterol levels or formation of plaque in the arteries.
  • Digestibility: The smaller fat globules in sheep’s milk make it more digestible, so people with lactose intolerance to cow’s milk may be able to enjoy it in cheese and yogurt.
  • In addition, sheep’s milk beta casein proteins are strictly A2. The A1 beta casein found in most cow’s milk is often the cause of digestive intolerance of dairy, even for people who are not lactose-intolerant.
  • Fat content: While the fat content is higher, sheep’s milk has more beneficial fat than other milks. Sheep’s milk is not as high in saturated fatty acids; 45% of the fatty acids are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.
  • Lactose: Sheep’s milk is 10% lower in lactose than cow’s milk, and is even less after the live yogurt cultures break it down (source).
  • Texture: Sheep produce thicker milk—it contains almost twice as much solids as cow’s milk—so there is no need to add stabilizers to the yogurt.
  • ________________

    *The domestication of dogs may have occurred more than 20,000 years earlier.

    †Some well-known sheep’s milk cheeses include Feta, Manchego, Ossau-Iraty, Pecorino Romano and Roquefort.

    **The domestication of goats is dated at between 8,000 and 9,000 years ago in Western Asia (the area encompassing Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Sinai Peninsula and Transcaucasia).

     


    [1] Blackberry Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt (all photos © Bellwether FarmsBellwether Farms).


    [2] Blueberry Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt.

    ]
    [3] Plain Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt.


    [4] Spiced Apple Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt.


    [5] Strawberry Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt.


    [6] Vanilla Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yogurt.

     

      




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