I am a big fan of cheese, like, it doesn’t matter what kind you give me, I’ll devour it within minutes yet I don’t know what does cottage cheese taste like. But, then again, cheese is not the healthiest food out there, especially the highly processed versions available in the market.
While I was scrounging through the internet trying to find a “healthy cheese,” I stumbled upon this one. Cottage cheese sounded pretty dull, but I was curious about how it tasted, so I did what I had to; I bought a batch and tasted it.
And it tasted amazing. Given how curious I was about this cheese’s taste before buying it, I am sure several people might wonder about the same thing.
So, here, I will break down everything you need to know about cottage cheese, from the taste and texture to some of the best ways of eating it.
What is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage Cheese is a healthy and fresh alternative to processed cheeses available in the market. It is a low-calorie cheese made by curdling cow milk. The best thing about this cheese is the time it takes to be made.
Unlike the standard blocks of cheeses that undergo aging and ripening to get the distinct cheesy flavor, the same isn’t needed with cottage cheese.
It is pretty much sold within a day of making. If you are wondering how it came to fruition, thank the people from the 17th century who didn’t want to throw away the milk residue after making butter. They made an instant recipe from the leftover milk, which is now popularly sold in the markets as cottage cheese.
Is Cottage Cheese Healthy?
Despite what people might say, cottage cheese is a very healthy alternative to the existing processed cheeses. It is low in calories and doesn’t have any added sodium content, making this favorable for anyone to eat.
It is also rich in protein, making this an ideal food for weight loss. Cottage cheese consists of a type of protein called Casein, which is responsible for satiating our hunger quickly. It prevents overeating, thereby reducing the risks of weight gain.
Aside from protein, cottage cheese is also high in Vitamin B proteins. It is rich in Vitamin B12, a vitamin that is predominantly helpful in improving brain function.
It is also enriched with Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, necessary for enhanced energy in the body by breaking down the consumed carbs.
Another type of Vitamin B present in cottage cheese is Vitamin B9 or folate. This vitamin is responsible for the production of red blood cells in the body.
But, the availability of vitamins in the cheese is not the only health benefit. It has higher calcium levels that help strengthen your bones. Additionally, it is good food for people with type-2 diabetes as it regulates blood glucose levels.
What Does Cottage Cheese Taste Like?
Would you be surprised if I told you that cottage cheese doesn’t have any distinct or strong flavor and taste? Because that is what it is. It is one of the main reasons people don’t take a liking toward it right away.
The sodium content in cottage cheese is little to none, making this perfect for high blood pressure patients. But, that is also a reason you won’t enjoy eating it just by itself. The majority of people who eat cottage cheese, mainly in India, use this as a meat replacement in the curries.
It enhances the flavor of the cheese and makes it taste a lot better.
As for the smell of the cheese, it does have a typical “spoiled milk” kind of taste. If you can get past that smell, trust me, the creaminess and the cheese’s spongy texture makes it an excellent experience.
The texture of the cheese is semi-solid, depending on how long it is pressed. If you eat it right after curdling the milk, it will have a typically smooth and crumbly texture. But, if the cheese is pressed for hours, it leaves you with a solid chunk of cheese, one that is similar to the texture of firm tofu.
The taste of the cottage cheese also varies on the type of milk that one uses. If it is full-fat milk, the cheese will have a milkier and richer taste compared to the low-fat milk.
The low-fat cottage cheese has a typical sour taste, especially if the milk is curdled with lemon juice. Many Indians enjoy eating this with some granulated sugar to balance the sourness.
The one downside to this cheese is the texture of the curd you get when you bite into the cheese. Not many are big fans of that.
How is Cottage Cheese Made?
Cottage cheese, as mentioned before, is made with cow milk.
The milk is boiled first, to which a rennin solution is added to curdle the milk and separate the milk solids from the liquids. Once the milk is curdled, the cheese is strained where most of the water is washed out.
Some manufacturers add salt to the final extracted cheese, while the remaining tend to sell it just as it is.
In India, the extracted cottage cheese is then pressed further for a few hours to make Paneer, a solid block of cheese resembling the texture of firm tofu.
How to Eat Cottage Cheese?
Since cottage cheese doesn’t have a very typical or strong taste of its own, I like to add more flavor to the dish. It is so versatile that you can use it both for the sweet and savory dishes of your choice.
Let me share a few of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese.
1. With a Hint of Sweetness
Cottage cheese has a slightly sour and pungent smell and taste to it. I was not a very big fan of that the first time I ate it. But, adding some granulated sugar or strawberry jam took the taste to an entirely new level. The blend of the sweet and sour taste was a match made in heaven, and there is not one week that I haven’t eaten this at least once.
2. As a Savory Snack
Another way that I like to eat cottage cheese is by making a quick savory snack with it. All I do is add some chopped onions, cucumber, and tomato to it. Spice it up with some salt, pepper, and paprika, and top everything with some roasted peanuts and chopped coriander.
3. As a Main Meal
As a part of my main course, I like to eat this as Indians would make it. I blend in many spices, onions, and tomatoes and make a red gravy to which I add the cubed firm cottage cheese pieces and let it simmer till the cheese is flavorful and delicious. You can eat it with flatbread or a cup of steamed rice.
How to Store Cottage Cheese?
Unlike other types of cheeses that are aged, cottage cheese doesn’t undergo similar processes. It means that the shelf life of this cheese is not very long. If you are buying some in bulk, I’d suggest you keep the excess in an airtight container in the fridge.
The cheese will stay good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and around 1-2 months in the freezer. But, if you ask me, I’d suggest you buy smaller batches and eat the cheese fresh without freezing it.
Well, now that you know what cottage cheese tastes like, what are you waiting for? You can pick some up from the store or even make a batch at home. Make sure that you always look at the packaging to check the sodium content. I would suggest getting the one with less sodium in it.
Despite the odd texture and smell, I can guarantee that the taste of this cheese grows on you the more you eat it. Be the best judge of the taste by actually eating some yourself.