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Taste Test: Cottage cheese

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
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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.
Also sampled: Publix ($1.67 for 16 ounces, 47 points); Breakstone ($3.19 for 24 ounces from Publix, 50 points); TG Lee ($3.99 for 1-pound, 8 ounces from Publix, 54 points); Light N' Lively ($3.69 for 24 ounces from Publix, 48 points) and Hannaford ($1.69 for 16 ounces from Sweetbay, 47 points).

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 jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste Test: Cottage cheese 02/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:30am]

    

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