Admittedly, cottage cheese gets a bad rap as the centerpiece of a diet plate. But, a scoop of the unpressed cheese curd (damp with whey) can provide a low-fat, protein- and calcium-filled dish that can stand alone or start a meal. Taster's Choice judges sampled eight brands of cottage cheese from local grocery stores and found a few they would buy.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
|Product/Score (out of 100)||Friendship /58||Great Value /57||Lactaid /56|
|How'd it look?||The curds are small, but the cheese was very moist and slick-looking. The color was very, bright white.||Like white oatmeal, resembling ricotta.||Like wet feta cheese.|
|Judges' comments||"This does Little Miss Muffet proud," said a panelist who liked the creamy texture and tangy taste of the brand. Another judge described the texture as chewy with nice-sized curd. This cottage cheese was the cheesiest of the samples.||The lumps in this cheese gave the texture a lot of body. It was cheesy and salty at the same time. Another judge thought the taste was a bit sour, but he didn't complain.||Judges described the taste as "neutral" — not too sweet and not too sour. The texture was melt-in-your-mouth soft.|
|Would they buy?||Three of the five judges said yes.||Two of the five judges said yes.||Two of the five judges said yes.|
|Shopping information||Widely available. $2.09 for 16 ounces from Publix.||$2.14 for 24 ounces from Wal-Mart.||Widely available. $2.85 for 16 ounces from Publix.|
Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Times food critic Laura Reiley; and consumer/foodie John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc. All foods were tasted blind.
Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.