Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Wanna Curdle? Why I Love Cottage Cheese


I love cottage cheese. Well, somebody had to say it. 

Cottage cheese is often overshadowed these days by Greek yogurt, and gets a bad rap due to its high sodium content. Those who went on diets in decades past probably hate the stuff, because they ate it until it came out of their ears. President Richard Nixon's favorite lunch according to a book about our U.S. presidents that I read years ago was a scoop of cottage cheese atop a pineapple ring. Not a very manly lunch, but perhaps he was inspired by this bizarre commercial from back in the day showing grown men (including Peter Graves) and shirtless boys noshing on Borden's cottage cheese mid-day:




Gee, that old guy isn't much of a cook, eh? I also think I'll pass on the notion of eating my cottage cheese doused with maple syrup, or jelly (in a sandwich!) -- thank you, anyway. 

Cottage cheese was invented sometime in the early 1800s in various forms, and was promoted during WWI as a meat substitute. From the '50s through the '80s it was commonly known to help dieters, who would scoop it onto cantaloupe or a salad. 

There are a few reasons why cottage cheese is one of my favorite retro foods (for snacking; I'd never substitute it for a meal.) For starters, it is packed with protein; one cup of cottage cheese has 25 grams vs. 20 in a cup of Greek yogurt. Weight lifters love it because it contains casein protein, which is considered to be longer lasting. 

An entire cup is way too much to eat because of the sodium content, but I find that half a cup for a snack is very filling and satisfying. It also contains calcium -- nowhere near as much as yogurt or milk, mind you -- and traces of minerals such as zinc and phosphorus. 

Then there's the fact that it's remarkably flavor versatile; it can be made savory or sweet depending on your taste and makes a relatively low-fat, low calorie dip for veggies or crackers. 

Last year Hood revamped their cottage cheese offerings with several flavors; my favorite right now is the Cucumber Dill one. This morning I whisked a teaspoon into my scrambled eggs (before cooking them) and the dill really added a nice flavor. The Garden Vegetable one is great, too. (I find the fruit ones like Pineapple way too sweet and prefer to eat yogurt with fruit instead.) 

Lately I've been seeing cottage cheese get mentioned on women's sites and magazines as a food to help lose/keep weight off, so maybe it's making a comeback. 

And there you have it...go retro and stay svelte and slim with cottage cheese! Here's a look back at some vintage cottage cheese commercials through the years. 









Even Vincent Price liked it:

1 comment:

  1. Cottage cheese, never thought much about it actually. I remember girlfriends in college eating that stuff - thought it was insane. "Just have a freaking cheeseburger already, that's what you really want." I thought. But I guess that is because I'm a guy......

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