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May 4, 2010 01:48 PM

Looking For Low Salt Cottage Cheese In Durham/Chapel Hill/Hillsborough Area

I've looked in several Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Whole Food, etc. stores in this area but none carry low salt cottage cheese. I know it exists as I used to buy it in chain groceries in NJ when I lived there. Anyone know where I might fine it here?

Harris Teeter
, New Bern, NC 28560

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  1. Does Weight Watchers carry a brand of cottage cheese? If you exhaust your searches or the prices you come across are too high, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to make your own at home.

    7 Replies
    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

      Thanks for the pointers. I looked briefly at the Weight Watchers web site but didn't see much about their retail food products.

      I did try Whole Foods in Chapel Hill today but they only have (surprisingly) 2 or 3 brands of cottage cheese, none low salt. I've already looked at the big chain stores, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Food Lion, etc. and have come up empty. (I asked the nice rep at the Customer Service counter in HT if they could get low salt cottage cheese. She took my name and phone number and said she would pass it long to someone who would contact me. That was a week ago.)

      I guess I'll look into recipes to make my own. Any pointers there?

      1. re: d.v

        I'll see what I can find out and get back to you.

        1. re: d.v

          ask the dairy manager at Whole Foods if they'll order Friendship for you. even the stores all the way out here in California carry it...though at an obscene markup - 2x the price i paid on the East Coast!

          also, if you have Safeway there, they should have the Lucerne.

        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Can I camp on to your request with another (since cottage cheese threads are not that numerous)?

          We are looking for a "dry" cottage cheese with firm curds that aren't swimming in a sea of liquid. The kind that people used to scoop into the center of fruit plates years ago. All the brands in the stores nowadays seem to be the sloshy kind. Any suggestions from the cottage cheese fans reading this thread?

          1. re: klmonline

            I'm not a cheesemaker, but if making cottage cheese is to some degree like making ricotta.. it is just a matter of allowing more moisture to run out of it. I didn't get a chance to look, but it seems that the European style of cottage cheese may be a bit more dry. Also klmonline, you may be looking at farmers cheese which is described in the last link, but I don't claim any responsibility for these other than that I did a search and thought they looked good.


            I would also check out some of the video feeds on You Tube starting here.


            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Thanks for the links. I will give them a look.

            2. re: klmonline

              That is a tough one to find. I have found the smaller curd varieties seem drier. Sometimes a grocery that services an older, economically challenged part of town will have more of the varieties that are less popular. I have a faint memory of Cabots being a little drier, but not completely sure. I have found goats milk versions of products are often dryer than the cows milk version. That said, I haven't seen a G.M. cottage cheese...

              Have you tried draining the sloshy type over night? Might work in a similar way to draining yohgurt to get it to a thicker point.

              Re: Farmers Cheese, I use it for blintzes and find it to be more like a dryish ricotta.

          2. Are you looking for a particular sodium content? If you have a number I can better try to find a brand for you.

            Cottage cheese by it's nature is not a low sodium food and generally is on the list of "bad" for those prescribed a low sodium diet.

            Speak to the dairy buyer at whatever store you visit most often. They quite possibly can get it in for you.

            7 Replies
            1. re: meatn3

              I don't have a particular amount in mind other than to say the lowest I can find. I just know that the 300 - 400+ mg of sodium per serving (and who eats just one of those ridiculous serving sizes?) is way too high. If I had to guess I would say the brands I used to buy in NJ were under 100, maybe as small as 40? Just a guess but I do remember that I could eat a goodly portion and not be worried.

              I did speak to a Customer Service Rep at Harris Teeter a couple weeks ago but so far no one has called. I should be there again tomorrow and plan to ask again. I can't be the only person in the Chapel Hill area that would buy low sodium cottage cheese. The store, like most mega-marts these days, stocks many low sodium product so it's not like I'm blazing any trails here.

              I don't know why cottage cheese has to be *not * low sodium as you suggest. As far as I can tell, the salt in the recipes that burgeoningfoodie linked to above is merely for flavor. I don't believe it is critical to the enzyme action that makes the cheese. I could be wrong. Maybe a food chemist here will straighten me out! I plan to try one of those recipes and lower the amount of salt to see how it turns out.

              Oh, I tried Weaver Street Market in Carrboro and Fresh Market in Chapel Hill today. Both had a mere two varieties (a low or no fat and a 4%) and two brands for a total of 4 selections. Disappointing.

              Fresh Market
              4223 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC

              Harris Teeter
              , New Bern, NC 28560

              Weaver Street Market
              716 Market St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

              1. re: d.v

                The salt content improves shelf life. Low sodium fresh cheeses like that tend to spoil much more quickly.
                If I were you, I'd consider trying out a small batch of homemade ricotta. It's very easy.

                Also, klmonline, I've found home made ricotta to be quite dry if you take the temperature beyond the recommended 165F by about 10 degrees or so. Might be worth a try with a half gallon of milk for starters.

                1. re: sisterbeer

                  FYI. I did make a batch using, basically, Alton Brown's recipe from the Food Network Instead of cream I added skim milk. It tasted OK with a tiny bit of sugar (to counteract the slight vinegar taste), salt and pepper. But the next day the leftovers had all 'melted' together into a solid mass. The curds, which were fairly small, just didn't hold their shape. It was pretty much inedible. Maybe I need to try a recipe that uses rennet instead of vinegar.

                  I also asked at Whole Foods in Chapel Hill. A nice guy at the customer service counter looked around on his computer then said they couldn't get it. He didn't elaborate on what that means. I admit I'm befuddled by why stores can't get what I know is made by a national chain, probably Breakstone or Friendship.

                  I'm going to have to make a trip to NJ and stock up. Does anyone know if cottage cheese freezes well?

                  1. re: d.v

                    cottage cheese really doesn't freeze well. it separates, and the curds get mealy & grainy. i'd only freeze it if you're planning to blend or process and cook with it after you defrost it.

                    it's bizarre to me that your WFM can't get Friendship - we have it all the way out here in California! according to the Friendship website their products are sold in stores "up and down the Eastern Seaboard." here's a list of retailers:


                    might be worth a call to the company - they can tell you the distributor for your area...who can then give you info about the stores that order the product from them.

                    no luck with Safeway or any of their related stores and the Lucerne...?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Thanks for the info on freezing cottage cheese. I kinda didn't think it would work.

                      I'll look at the Friendship site to see if there are any retailers around here that carry it. Thx for the link.

                      Safeway? I don't think there are any in this area. At least I haven't seen any around here.

                      1. re: d.v

                        re: Safeway, they're the parent company but i wasn't sure which (if any) of the stores under their umbrella might be in your area. the others are Dominicks, Genuardis, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Carrs. if you have any of those around, look for Lucerne No Salt Added Cottage Cheese. it's not as good as Friendship, but...

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          No safeways or their offshoots in the area.

            2. The Fresh Market in Chapel Hill has the Friendship No Salt Added Cottage Cheese.

              2 Replies
              1. re: durhamois

                Hmm, I was there a couple of weeks ago and did not see it. I will have to make a trip back. You're talking about the one at 54 and 501, across from Glenn Lennox, right? That's the only Fresh Market I've ever seen in CH so I think it's the one you're talking about.

                I will definitely check it out again! Many thanks.

                1. re: durhamois

                  Wow, am I thankful for this blog and this thread. I returned to Fresh Market in Chapel Hill today and found the Friendship No Salt Added Cottage Cheese just as you said.

                  Thank you durhamois. For a bonus, it's also only 1% fat. I purchased two pints and will be returning there frequently.

                  There's nothing more I like for a summer lunch that cottage cheese topped with some fresh tomatoes and a little pepper. I can now retire my cottage cheese recipes thanks to this great group of people.

                  I will also check back at Whole Foods since it is a little more convenient for me. But it's worth the drive to Fresh Market if necessary.

                  (BTW, a while back someone asked what the salt content was. I checked the label and it's 60 mg per half cup serving.)