What Kind of Cottage Cheese is Best to Buy: Types and Signs of a Quality Product

Cottage cheese is an inexhaustible source of fatty acids the body needs. It helps to lose weight and contains vitamins B12, B6, A, and others. The high calcium content helps strengthen teeth and bones, and the phosphorus in cottage cheese improves the function of the nervous and muscular systems.

What percentage of cottage cheese is there – types of product

Cottage cheese, depending on the method of preparation, is divided into several types:

  • Dietary – made from skim milk, has a slight sourness and high density, ideal for breakfast. It combines vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs.
  • Soft – made from whole milk, sometimes with the addition of cream, the taste is gentle and creamy. Can be used for cottage cheese cream or baby food.
  • Table – made from skimmed milk, has a dry and crumbly consistency, it is called fine-grained.
  • Sourness in flavor is expressed less than in the diet, and this cottage cheese is best combined with hot dishes.

Grainy is a symbiosis of dietary and soft curd, the texture is crumbly but tender and creamy. Ideal for baking, making cheesecakes, or as an ingredient in salads.
Also, cottage cheese has a percentage of fat content and comes in:

  • fat – from 12 to 23%;
  • classical – from 4 to 9%;
  • nonfat – 2 to 3.8%;
  • Non-fat – up to 1.8%.

The higher the percentage of fat content, the softer and tastier the product. It can be served without additives, with fruit, jam, or nuts at most. Cottage cheese with a low percentage of fat, on the contrary, it is better to use for cooking hot dishes.

What kind of cottage cheese is better to buy – in the store or at the market?

First of all, you need to understand that homemade cottage cheese will always be more natural than store-bought. The percentage of fat content is also likely to be high, and the main condition for a quality product – good cream and milk – is usually respected by hostesses.

Store cottage cheese has a more “chemical” taste, and in addition, some manufacturers add potato starch or food additives to the cottage cheese to increase the weight of the product and improve its taste.

How to check whether cottage cheese is good or not – important signs

Before you buy such a product, pay attention to a number of mandatory criteria:

  • taste – not bitter or sour, moderately fatty, requires no sugar or other additives;
  • smell – it smells like sour milk products, without the offensive smell of sour milk;
  • color – good curd has a creamy white color, while blue or yellow specks suggest it is stale;
  • consistency – fat, soft and homogeneous, without separation, and the color of the curd particles do not differ from each other;
  • composition – milk, sourdough, calcium chloride, and rennet, and total absence of vegetable fats, starches, powdered milk, preservatives, and soy;
  • The packaging is clear, intact, and without any damage;
  • The name – only “curd” and not “curd product,” “curds,” or “curds;
  • The absence of liquid – its presence indicates improper storage of cottage cheese and the release of whey, and this is fraught with the appearance of harmful bacteria.

As for the shelf life, cottage cheese in vacuum packaging can be stored for up to 1 month. Foil or parchment can keep the product from spoiling for a week, and the weighted product will not live longer than 36 hours.

How to test cottage cheese with boiling water or iodine – tips

If you’ve already bought cottage cheese and brought it home, but want to test the quality of the product, use one of two methods:

  1. Put some cottage cheese on a plate, pour boiling water over it, and wait – if greasy spots appear, it means there are vegetable fats in the cottage cheese.
  2. Pour the cottage cheese on a teaspoon, and drop iodine on top: the cottage cheese turned blue – the manufacturer added starch, remained yellow – the product is quality.

The easiest thing to do, of course, is to taste the cottage cheese. You will feel any fat and vegetable additives right away – you will have a feeling of a fat “film” and an oily taste on your tongue. Such a product, of course, can be eaten, but it is not necessary.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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