Dean's Cottage Cheese: A Proustian Nightmare
- mrbarolo May 26, 2004 04:33 PM
I'm not much of a cottage cheese eater. I long ago substituted ricotta in all the places where cottage cheese used to go. But today, in a diet fugue state, I decided that I would have some ricotta for lunch in order to eschew carbs and take in some protien. The little market near my office did not have any ricotta, so I opted for cottage cheese. They didn't have the Breakstone's I would normally gravitate to, so I grabbed the Dean's.
Now, I was thinking brand, schmand. It's mass produced dairy blandness. What's the diff? How wrong I was.
This stuff was jaw-dropping, stop-in-your-tracks awful. Unbelievably salty, with no other flavor component but a pronounced metalic edge in the finish, all conveyed over the palate on a sludgy, starchy texture that recalled soupy library paste more than any dairy product. Yuck.
The shock of this catapulted me back to the cottage cheese of my youth. There was no ricotta then, only cottage cheese. (Oddly, my mother's plastic container cabinet was filled with bright yellow Polly-O ricotta containers used for freezing soup, etc. But I don't recall ever being served actual ricotta. What did she do with it all?)
Anyway, it came back to me that the Breakstone cottage cheese of my youth had actual cheese flavor and texture. Whether they used vegetable gums, I can't say. But the stuff had a real dairy texture. Like Farmer's Cheese but with some whey still in it to give it moisture. Further, the kind she always brought said "Tangy" on the label. Now, the only distinctions are among gradations of fat content (4%, Low Fat-2%, 1% and fat-free). But then, there was "tangy." And that's what it was - just like real cheese. Just like yogurt was before they added all the food starch and sugar.
And this tang made it actually tasty as a contrast with fruit - or even "fruit cocktail" which we sometimes ate.
Does anyone else remember Breakstone's "tangy" cottage cheese? When did it disappear? Is there anything like it still around?
The Cowgirl Creamery in Northern CA makes the real thing. Now, I've never had theirs and I generally hate cottage cheese with an unrivaled passion, but supposedly, when it's fresh and authentic cottage cheese is very, very good.
"Cowgirl Creamery Cottage Cheese starts with non-fat organic milk from the Straus Family Creamery, and then it is dressed with additional clabbered cream. The Cowgirls won a blue ribbon from the American Cheese Society for this stylish version of old fashioned cottage cheese. This small curd cottage cheese is rich and creamy and pleasantly addictive. 8OZ, 16OZ, 4LB"
They sell many of their cheeses online, but, sadly, not the cottage cheese which makes sense.
I second the Nancy's rec--I like the organic best--not sure why but it seems richer and tangier than the regular. The first time I tried it, I actually didn't like it since I was used to mass produced. Now I can hardly eat the other stuff. I love the layer of creaminess on the top (almost like yogurt). Good stuff!
I guess everyone's tastes are different. We dont have it on the east coast but it seriously is one of the things I miss most about living in Madison, WI. I buy the Breakstone's but wish i could have deans.
Breakstones does not have any gums added to it. I accidentally bought some Deans not long ago and after one taste picthed it. I wish I could get Crowley's.
Older thread...but I'll pay..
Lately I prefer Daisy or Shop Rite's own brand, always small curd and the less liquid the better I like it.
But I'll be honest, if I couldn't find the ricotta I would have selected Greek yogurt not cottage cheese instead.
There are a good deal of awful cottage cheeses on the market. I'd even take Farmer's cheese (when I can find it) over the cottage.
Never tried Dean's...and I won't be anytime soon.
I see that someone else dug up this ancient thread but anything related to cheese is worth talking about. :-)
Breakstone's cottage cheese is definitely still available. While I cannot recall seeing the large tubs recently (they may be there, I have just not noticed), I have seen the single serving containers.
I am a shareholder of Mondelez and they sent out some investor information and one of the things they mentioned is that their Breakstone's cottage cheese is only labeled as such in the Eastern half of the USA but the same product is called Knudsen's cottage cheese in the Western half of the USA.