A fresh cheese made from whole, part-skimmed or skimmed pasteurized cow's milk. "Sweet curd" cottage cheeseby far the most popularhas a rather mild (sometimes bland) flavor because the curds are washed to remove most of the cheese's natural acidity. The texture of cottage cheese is usually quite moist. If the curds are allowed to drain longer, pot cheese is formed; longer yet and the firm farmer's cheese is created. Cottage cheese comes in three forms: small-curd, medium-curd and large-curd (sometimes called "popcorn" cottage cheese). Creamed cottage cheese has had 4 to 8 percent cream added to it, lowfat cottage cheese has from 1 to 2 percent fat (check the label), and nonfat cottage cheese has, of course, zero fat. Cottage cheese is sold plain and flavored, the most popular additions being chives and pineapple (but not together). Because it's more perishable than other cheeses, cartons of cottage cheese are stamped on the bottom with the date they should be pulled from the shelves. Store cottage cheese in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 10 days past the stamped date. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.