Domestic goats are versatile animals, raised for various purposes including meat (often referred to as chevon or goat meat), milk, and sometimes their hides and fibres. They are known for their hardiness, able to graze on tough shrubbery that many other livestock animals might avoid. In Alberta's varied landscape, goats are often used in sustainable farming practices for weed control, due to their preference for many invasive plant species.
Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans, with evidence tracing back over 9,000 years. In Alberta, while cattle farming has been historically dominant, the importance of goat farming has grown, especially with increasing and diverse populations seeking goat meat, a staple in many world cuisines. Moreover, goat milk and cheese have become sought-after artisanal products in the province.
Goat meat, known for its lean profile and rich flavour, is a delicacy in many world cuisines, from the Caribbean to the Middle East and South Asia. In Alberta, the demand for goat meat has grown in recent years, leading to more culinary experimentation. Chevon can be slow-cooked in stews and curries, where its meat becomes tender and absorbs intricate flavours. Grilled goat chops are a treat for barbecues, often marinated with herbs and spices. Goat milk, with its creamy texture, is transformed into cheeses like chèvre, and its naturally sweet profile makes it a preferred ingredient in desserts and beverages. Alberta's local farmers' markets and artisanal dairies often showcase goat milk products, reflecting the province's evolving culinary landscape.