Cottage cheese has long been known as a lighter way to add rich creaminess and protein to salads and vegetable side dishes.
Cottage cheese is part of the family of fresh, rindless cheeses not intended for ripening. Mild-tasting and associated with healthy eating, it’s a popular addition to lighter dishes. Some processors add fruits and herbs to cottage cheese as a flavoring.
- Cottage cheese is made by adding an acid—vinegar, for example, or a lactic-acid bacterial culture—to pasteurized milk, which separates the milk solids from the liquid whey.
- After the curd forms, cheesemakers gently cut it into pieces that allow additional whey to drain away. Further cooking and pressing expels yet more whey. Finally, the curds are rinsed and salted.
- Store cottage cheese in a refrigerator set at 38°–40°F in the container in which it was sold.
- The “sell by” date stamped on cottage cheese products tells you how long the retail store can keep the product for sale on the shelf.
- If any mold forms on the surface of the cottage cheese, discard it immediately.
- Because of its light, fresh character, cottage cheese is often eaten in salads with fresh fruit and vegetables, or as a healthy, convenient, high-protein snack. Consumers gravitate toward these presentations!
- Substitute cottage cheese for cream cheese or ricotta in dips, casseroles, pancakes or desserts.
- The unique curd structure of cottage cheese provides an interesting texture to pastry dough and blends effectively to a smoother texture before being added to a recipe like a classic coeur à la crème.