Aah custard…. Such a dear friend. It’s got to be one of the most versatile of substances on earth.
I know I have previously said this column was a celebration of all things dairy but quite frankly, I feel like this is one member of the dairy family that is letting the side down.
It’s time to vote cottage cheese off the island.
I’m sure I’m not alone in associating cottage cheese with self-deprivation and dieting.
As I kid, I always knew if Mum (and it was always Mum) was trying shed some kilos by the prevalence of three items in the pantry: rice cakes, celery and cottage cheese.
Together they were the Holy Grail of 1980s ‘diet’ foods.
Now we don’t even use the word diet: we call it ‘lifestyle change’.
Thankfully, there is also a trend towards eating a smaller portion of “wholefoods” – including full fat dairy - rather than suffer through insipid gloop in the name of calorie reduction.
Which brings me back to my first point: why is cottage cheese still on shelves? Who is buying it?
A vegetarian with a cholstoraol problem? A weight lifter in training for a big event? A dietician sworn off brie?
I read a quote this week from a prize winning NZ cheese maker Albert Alferink who said “Cheese has to speak: it has to have character.”
Cottage cheese doesn’t have character – it has a personality disorder.
It’s a utility food.
If cottage cheese were a colour it would be beige.
If it had a job it would be an accountant – and a ‘letter of the law’ one at that.
Cottage cheese is never seen at parties or when people come to visit.
It’s a private shame. (Although there is a cottage cheese appreciation group on Facebook. It has 4 members. I checked.)
There is of course the attempt by some manfacturers, such as Bulla, to ‘jazz’ it up kath and Kim style with a bit of sweet chilli or onion and chives.
And a quick search on the internet will bring up headlines such as 25 ways with cottage cheese? 25? Really? One blogger believes the gloopy stuff can be used successfully in pancakes, pizzas, cheesecakes and guacamole. Would you be game to try? I’m not!
If someone reading this cares deeply enough about cottage cheese to defend it and even send me some recipes they think helps to justify cottage cheeses’ exisitence, please do.
In the meantime, I shall be carrying on my personal vendetta against this particular dairy product.