Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is drained, but not pressed, so some whey remains and the individual curds remain loose. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity, giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from milks with different fat levels and in small-curd or large-curd preparations. Cottage cheese which is pressed becomes hoop cheese, farmer cheese, pot cheese, or queso blanco.
Cottage cheese can be eaten in a variety of different ways: by itself, with fruit and sugar, with salt and pepper, with fruit puree, on toast, with tomatoes, with granola and cinnamon, as a chip dip, as a replacement for mayonnaise in tuna or chicken salad, in salads, or used as an ingredient in recipes such as jello salad and various desserts. Cottage cheese with fruit such as pears, peaches, or mandarin oranges is a standard side dish in many "home cooking" or meat-and-three restaurants' menus in the United States.
The first known use of the term "cottage cheese" dates back to 1831 and is believed to have originated because the simple cheese was usually made in cottages from any milk left over after making butter. The curds and whey from the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme is another dish made from curds with whey, but it is uncertain what their consistency was, if they were drained at all or how they were curdled (which affects the flavor). Some writers claim they are equivalent or similar.
The curd size is the size of the chunks in the cottage cheese. The two major types of cottage cheese are small-curd, high-acid cheese made without rennet, and large-curd, low-acid cheese made with rennet. Rennet is a natural complex of enzymes that speeds curdling and keeps the curd that forms from breaking up; adding it shortens the cheesemaking process, resulting in a lower acid and larger curd cheese, and reduces the amount of curd poured off with leftover liquid (the whey). Sometimes large-curd cottage cheese is called "chunk style."
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||412 kJ (98 kcal)|
|Vitamin A equiv.||
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
A 4-oz (113-g) serving of 4% fat product has about 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 3 g carbohydrates, and 12 g protein. It also contains about 500 mg sodium, 70 mg calcium, and 20 mg cholesterol.
Some manufacturers also produce low-fat and nonfat varieties. A fat-free kind of a similar serving size has 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 6 g carbohydrates, and 14 g protein.
Cottage cheese is popular among dieters and some health food devotees. It is a favorite food among bodybuilders, runners, and weightlifters for its high content of casein protein (a longer-lasting protein) while being relatively low in fat. Pregnant women are advised that cottage cheese is safe to eat during their pregnancy, whereas some cheese products are not.
- Çökelek, a Turkish cheese made by yoghurt's curd Lor, a Turkish cheese made by whey
- Mascarpone, an Italian cheese made from cream, coagulated with citric acid or acetic acid
- Paneer, a South Asian fresh cheese
- Quark, the European fresh curds and cheese
- Qurut or Keshk dried yoghurt cheese popular at Middle asia; Xinjiang, Tibet, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey
- Ricotta, an Italian whey cheese
- "Definition of cottage". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Driscoll, Michael; Meredith Hamiltion; Marie Coons (May 2003). A Child's Introduction Poetry. 151 West 19th Street New York, NY 10011: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. p. 10. ISBN 1-57912-282-5.
- "Making Cottage Cheese at Home 1977" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture Home and Garden Bulletin Number 129. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Eating cheese during pregnancy". Retrieved 2009-10-18.