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Best cottage cheese? I vote for Friendship (no salt added)

My tastes in cottage cheese are more toward the mild and non-tangy. Safeway started carrying two types of Friendship cottage cheese - whipped and no salt added. These were pricey as I remember the price was over $3 and maybe close to $4. So after gagging a bit over the cost, I bought both.

I was disappointed in the whipped and didn't feel it was worth the price. It didn't seem very whipped, just a small curd cottage cheese and the taste was good but not so much better than Knudson that I'd pay the premium.

So I open the no salt added and it looks pretty much like the whipped with a small curd ... but the taste is wonderful. It made me think of unsalted butter, that sweet, clean, fresh taste. It is also a dense yogurt that didn't leak whey or whatever after being open for a few days. So worth the money.

It actually did what I hoped the whipped would do - it was a nice topping on a toasted bagel.

Long ago when I lived in Cambridge, Mass there was a place that sold cottage cheese from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. It was so good that I still remember it and Freindhip no-salt had a taste that reminded me of that.

If you like tangy, Nancy's organic is the tangiest I've tried, there is actually a layer of what looks like sour cream on top that needs to be mixed into it.

On the local scene, I like Cowgirl Creamery which has a slight tang.

My default supermarket, everyday cottage cheese is Knudson. It just tastes better to me. I don't know why.

If you feel the best is home-made, here's a link on home cooking to share that info.

Friendship website:

Nancy's website:

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  1. Friendship was what I grew up with in New York (sour cream too)..but have never found it here in the S.F. Bay area....which Safeway is carrying it? I'll look for it at the Market St. store..

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChowFun_derek

      The one in Marin in Strawberry Village. However, it had a tag on it saying that it was a new items, so maybe more than that Safeway carry it. I'm not a big Safeway shopper these days because the stores nearest me are not that great.

    2. I like Friendship large curd with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of tobasco.

      2 Replies
      1. re: a_and_w

        I like the large curd as well, though never had it quite the way you describe. sounds very good and i will have to try it.

        1. re: a_and_w

          I was just trying to find something to eat with cottage cheese and read your post. Great idea and tasty too. I love hot things like Tabasco, jalapenos and habaneros. Try the brand "Iguana" out of costa rica. Sick habanero flavor though not too hot.

        2. I've been eating Horizon and Alta Dena organic 2% milkfat cottage cheese here in Los Angeles. Once when my market was out of the two above brands, I bought Knudsen's and I literally threw it away it tasted so bad to me after eating the organic.

          I'll have to look for the Friendship variety.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanaB

            Funny, I am a Friendship girl... Born NYC, lived in LA for 7 1/2 years and had to get used to other brands during that time, but back in NYC, I am back to Friendship. Low fat, plain or with pineapple.

            My husband recently did a food shopping, he never does, and bought me Horizon organic cottage cheese (since I have been pregnant, I drink only organic milk and consume other like items) and I have to say, I hated it!
            It is so loose and liquid-y. Is this the norm for Horizon? It was not past its date and tasted fine but was bland and watery.

            I am sticking to Friendship.

          2. What's with all the cottage cheeses these days containing guar gum, xantham gum and/or carrageenan? Knudsen's Low Fat used to just use the slightly less freaky sounding "modified food starch", but they've recently switched over to the same stabilizers that everyone else uses.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Humbucker

              I agree. Friendship is the only big name brand that I can find in Atlanta that isn't full of additives. The stuff with additives is really horrible tasting with a bad mouthfeel as well. Breakstone's is truly awful (and I really like their sour cream, so go figure) and that is all that is carried in our big box stores Publix and Kroger, besides stuff like Light n Lively. Friendhip blue label full fat is the way to go. I can get it at our local Dekalb Farmer's Market and Whole Foods. I'll have to try the Nancy's some time.

              1. re: LizATL

                I've tried Nancy's a couple times because it didn't have any wierd thickeners or stabilizers, but it's a cultured cottage cheese, and therefore isn't anything like the "dieter's plate"-style cottage cheese most people are used to. I found it quite sour and harsh tasting and didn't like it at all even though I like sour cream.

            2. CLOVER!!!!! ambrosia from a cow.... (nor cal)

              1. Cowgirl creamery makes a really good one.

                1. I still like Knudsen small curd cottage cheese, but it's changed since Kraft bought Knudsen. Cowgirl Creamery's cottage cheese is my favorite, but it's so expensive that I only buy it (as a splurge) every once in a while.

                  As for Friendship, they make the best Jewish-style "Farmers Cheese," a fresh uncreamed soft cheese that's necessary for such dishes as blintzes and kreplach. You can buy this at Draeger's or at the many Russian delis in San Francisco, such as Europa Express on Irving near 15th Ave. or the places on Geary or Clement in the Outer Richmond.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                    Ahhh, Friendship Farmer's Cheese -- great stuff. Wrapped in the wet waxed paper, of course Don't get the no-salt version. It has literally no taste whatsoever. Zero.

                    1. re: Bob W

                      But ... but ... that was my favorite ... like sweet butter. NO waxed paper though in California, just standard plastic cottage cheese container.

                      1. re: rworange

                        Bob and I were talking about another product from Friendship -- their Farmer's Cheese. It's an uncreamed fresh cheese that's pressed a bit and delivered to the deli or supermarket in 3 lb. paper wrapped rectangles. The stores usually cut them into 1/2 or 1 lb. pieces, wrap them in plastic wrap or vacuum pack them and sell them that way.

                        1. re: Nancy Berry

                          I love farmer's cheese in a spinach salad.

                          1. re: Nancy Berry

                            When I was little, we would go to the appetizing store (that is what it was called back then) and with all the other items we purchased, my mom always bought me a "slice" of blueberry farmer cheese. What a treat!

                            I have not seen it in a display where they slice it for you by weight in years. Is it still sold this way anywhere? I am in NY/NJ...

                            1. re: Michele4466

                              We always got sliced to order farmers cheese at Davis' deli on Hope St. in Providence. I'd bet they still sell it that way.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                Thanks, I wonder if they ship.

                                I am going to try some local cheese stores. Been a while since I even thought about it. Perhaps, I never noticed it is still around.

                              2. re: Michele4466

                                When I was growing up in the Catskills, we would also go to the appetizing store in Monticello, NY, where they sold farmers cheese. But we also had a dairy store in Woodbourne, NY that sold Friendship products. They would sell farmers cheese by the (thick) slice of a large bar. Here in San Francisco, the Eastern European and Russian markets still sell Friendship Farmers Cheese this way.

                                1. re: Nancy Berry

                                  Do these stores also carry their cottage cheese?
                                  I never liked farmers' cheese...not in blintzes or anything..to me it is a giant sponge determined to suck up any moisture I have in my mouth!!!

                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                    I have not seen cottage cheese at these stores, Derek. Perhaps you can ask whether they (or Safeway) can order some for you. Safeway's managers can order items that their store doesn't carry if they are on the master Safeway product list. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to ask.

                                    1. re: Nancy Berry

                                      I'm heading for the Market Street St. Safeway today..I'll make a request of the manager....thanks

                                  2. re: Nancy Berry

                                    I am going to have to search them out in my area. Thanks for the suggestion.

                        2. I looked for Friendship at the Market St. Safeway (SF) but they don't carry it (yet?!)

                          1. Knudsens used to make a large curd cottage cheese that was very tasty, I don't know if they still do. I just buy the fat free CC from Trader Joes now.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: malibumike

                              They still do and it's my FAVORITE... I am bummed though that we don't have more choices in CC, it's one of my FAVORITE THINGS!! I don't like TJs and Horizon Organics' and forget about store brand ones... :P :P :P


                            2. I can't STAND cottage cheese. Every time I try it, even after many years, it still just looks and tastes like wallpaper glue.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Prawn Cocktail

                                I feel the same about reduced fat cottage cheese...full fat should be REALLY creamy! (if it's good!)

                              2. I eat at least a cup of cottage cheese every day -- sometimes two. I have been doing this for several years. My cottage cheese of choice for this regimen is Breakstone 2%. It's got more than enough fat and taste for me. 1% fat CC (like Lite and Lively) doesn't do it for me.

                                Since I eat so much CC, I can't eat full-fat (4%) CC every day. When I want a treat I get the Friendship California-style; it's creamy and luscious. I also like Cabot's, Axelrod's, and Breakstone's full-fat CC, but BJ's has a 2-pound tub of the Friendship California-style for $2.99, a very good deal.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bob W

                                  It's funny that Friendship, which calls one of its cottage cheeses "California-style," is so difficult to find in California. Sigh.

                                2. Publix large-curd (the fuller fat variety).

                                  1. Cottage cheese is simple to make and there will be not additives unless you choose to ad something. It is just like making paneer or ricotta, just cut up more finely.

                                    Basically it is milk slowly heated to just under the boiling point, IIRC about 180-5 F. and an acid added like lemon juice or white vinegar. Then let the curd form and then drain in cheese cloth. You can save the whey to use in bread baking. Then either cut it up or for something like paneer weight it for a few hours. If you like creamy cottage cheese after cutting it up add a little milk, half and half or cream back to your curds. Basic kitchen science. Lots of recipes out there, just Google for one with exact measurements. Your kitchen will smell so good and of fresh dairy.

                                    1. Organic Horizon..2%. So creamy, so yummy, I can't stop once I start. It tastes like 4%...or 8%!

                                      Melly http://www.sacramentofoodgroup.org

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: melly

                                        Love Horizon lowfat cottage cheese!

                                      2. I've never had better cottage cheese than the Anderson Erickson I had in college 35 years ago. My Iowa informants claim that it tastes just the same. http://www.aedairy.com/products/produ...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Dave Feldman

                                          I agree on friendship being the best tasting cottage cheese. My mom would alway eat
                                          hood 1% and when I tasted it , it was so bitter I understood why her diets failed!
                                          I found friendship at wholefoods and the 1% is so good, I actully find myself thinking
                                          about how good it is when I see in on the shelf in the store.

                                          1. re: Dave Feldman

                                            Yes, Andersen Erickson's Old Fashioned style is by far the best cottage cheese I.ve ever had. Haven't had it in years. I wish I could get it in Florida.

                                          2. Here's what I've discovered with my research. I eat about 1-2 cups every day, so I've tried quite a few brands in all the different locations I have lived in.

                                            Friendships really is the best. I like the the 1% the best, whipped is ok with certain add-ins. Friendship hard to find around me, though. I can get it at Whole Foods but it's $$$.

                                            At one point I was really enjoying Cabot's LF from Trader Joes. I switched to another one for a while and then went back to it. I realized it's very salty but does have low sugar.

                                            Breakstone and Light N Lovely have too much sugar in it for CC, plus the taste isn't great.

                                            I onetime tried some Lactaid Organic variet (I don't remember the name) at my friend's house. The stuff was pretty good.

                                            Lately, I've been enjoying Safeway's Lucerne 1% (my safeway doesn't have friendship). It's VERY good. It has an almost creamy texture but also is quite chuncky. Plus, it's always on sale so sometimes I can get a container for $1.50.

                                            My question to you...there are four servings in the container and I always measure it out in 1/2 cups. I NEVER get 4 servings. What's the deal?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Jacey

                                              Breakstone's (from the US), Western Dairy and Dairyland here in Canada.
                                              In Mexico, Lyncott can be good.

                                              But one of the best I recall was Old Michigan, which I only saw in that state,

                                              1. re: ekammin

                                                Ekammin, do you mean Michigan brand? The small curd comes in a dark blue container and is the only cottage cheese I like. I have found it at some Meijer stores and Kroger stores carry it. I get my fix when I visit mom.

                                                1. re: fryrose

                                                  Thanks, yes, that's it. Unfortunately, I don't get to Michigan that often.

                                            2. I love large curd, and find it to help me in a healthy diet. Someone suggested olive oil, garlic and seasoning in their cottage cheese. I wanted to say YES, but I went through the registration process, and couldn't find that comment.

                                              Wish I could reply to that comment, but I got lost in a sea of registration.

                                              1. I am still Friendship fan after many, many, years. No funny pasty tasting additives. I prefer 1% whipped, no other brand makes whipped that I have found in NYC area or LA area, or Phoenix area (where I have stayed) and I am not a fan of no salt added. I have learned you can whip the cottage cheese yourself, so when I am away from NYC must find a non additive brand and whip it myself and see how it turns out.

                                                1. I enjoy their cottage cheese-
                                                  I make a dip with it - paprika-garlic powder, caraway seeds-

                                                  I also enjoy their farmer cheese-my mom(B"H) made a delicious kugel with it

                                                  1. This may seem unlikely to some folks but in my opinion, the rebranded generic brand 'Everyday Essentials' (used to be 'Flavorite') small curd cottage cheese is very consistently the best. It is thick and creamy in texture and taste - never thin or a bit watery. With other brands I see a lot of variation through out the year - now why can't they produce a consistent product? Anyway, I prefer it over other Midwest brands including the much more expensive 'Old Home' product. I'm just sayin'.

                                                    1. Friendship NO SALT just went into my garbage! It was THE worst possible impression of cottage cheese I EVER tasted! THE best tasting for me is Daisy brand!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: cmaglaughlin

                                                        I agree, I do not like the NO SALT either. The regular and (for me) the whipped cottage cheese though are great.