Cottage cheese faced a problem: After World War II, batches of the soft, lumpy dairy concoction developed a propensity to take on a rancid odor and a bitter taste. Thus ended the scourge. Despite this and other advances in cottage-cheese production, like texture analyzers, high-powered microscopes, and trained human tasters, cottage cheese has never enjoyed the same popularity as yogurt. But stalwart food scientists and artisanal dairy farmers have high hopes for the future of cottage cheese. With yogurt sales on the decline, a golden age of curds might be right around the corner.
Even so, the process is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Cottage Cheese Recipe
It begins with creating the curd, the lumpy matter found in cottage cheese. After hours of cooking near room temperature, the milk turns into a gel that is cut into pea-size curds. Cutting the curd releases whey, the liquid that remains after curdling. The fragile curds that result are then washed, to cool them and rid them of excess water and acidity. Finally, a dressing, made from fermented cream, is mixed with the curds.
Other ingredients such as stabilizers, gums, and salt are added as needed in large-batch production. Dave Potter and his wife, Cathy, distribute cultures to artisan cheesemakers and to small- and medium-size dairies.
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The cultures are bacteria used to ferment the lactose in the milk. Some might be buttery, others tart, for example.
How the mixtures are cooked and the origins of the milk and cream also affect the taste and texture of cottage cheese, and ultimately its appeal. In the United States, cottage-cheese consumption been in a free fall since the mids. Negligence is the reason, says Moshe Rosenberg, a professor of food science and technology at the University of California at Davis.
In the last half century or so, yogurt makers have added flavor to their products, while cottage cheese has failed to receive the same treatment. Meanwhile, Americans consume about 15 pounds of yogurt per capita, compared with just two pounds of cottage cheese.
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Read: How did Greek yogurt get so popular? Already disregarded, cottage cheese faced another setback during the late s: a new zeal for low-fat foods. Creamed meant fattening, or at least people thought it did.
But full-fat cottage cheese is only 4 percent fat. In industries like salad dressing, Rosenberg explains, a significant reduction in fat content boosted sales. When you eat full-fat cottage cheese, you can feel the curd particles on your tongue and you can taste the cream. Not so with low-fat and non-fat cottage cheese.
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Most of the moisture from the dressing gets absorbed by the curd, leaving it very mushy and soft. Greek yogurt filled the void left by cottage cheese. Over the last few years, people have been seeking low-fat, high-protein foods, and Greek yogurt offers a tasty, nutritious option for some. Strawberry-Blackberry Summer Trifle. Chicken and Avocado Spring Rolls. Easy Minute Recipes.
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