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Cottage Cheese — Quality Rating, Review Standards, and Categories for Evaluation


This document provides some standards for evaluating cottage cheese offerings from a variety of dairy companies.

Cottage Cheese Rating System

As a universal guide, we have made some subjective decisions about what makes an excellent cottage cheese. We rate various characteristics on a scale from 1 – 10 based on the following goals.

  1. Curd Density. When curds are too soft, they fall apart and lack texture while eating. PREFERENCE: Medium Density.
  2. Curd Size. Cottage cheese curds typically range in size from about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch (3mm-6mm). Cottage cheese with smaller curds tends to be mushy and the curds are often not well defined. PREFERENCE: Plentiful Large Curds.
  3. Curd Size Consistency. Some cottage cheese has a variety of curd sizes from 1/8-inch to about 1/2-inch for larger curds. Some cottage cheese with smaller uniform curds can be mushy and the curds are not dense. PREFERENCE: Medium to Large Variety.
  4. Flavor. Cottage cheese should taste like fresh sweet milk. Freshness is listed as a separate criteria to be rated from 1-10. PREFERENCE: Fresh and Sweet.
  5. Freshness. It is important for cottage cheese to have a fresh flavor. Some cottage cheese can taste stale, bland, and be flavorless. Freshness is listed as a separate criteria to be rated from 1-10. PREFERENCE: Fresh and Sweet.
  6. Liquid Content. Having some sweet milk with the cottage cheese is desirable with the milk being visible in the top of the container. When you shake the container, you will be able to hear the liquid and curds. Dry cottage cheese is generally flavorless and bland with poor curd quality. This is similar to the sweet milk that can be seen in fresh sour cream. PREFERENCE: Containing Milk.
  7. Moistness. As explained above, having moist cottage cheese is preferred. Dry cottage cheese is generally flavorless and bland with poor curd quality. Liquid content and moistness are rated separately because it is possible to have moist curds but not have additional milk. PREFERENCE: Moist.
  8. Product Quality Consistency. It is desirable for cottage cheese to be consistent in product quality over a long period of many purchases. Some cottage cheese brands can be occasionally high quality, but then periodically poor quality. PREFERENCE: Consistently High Quality.
  9. Purity. The purity of the cottage cheese or any other milk product, can usually be conveyed in the freshness of flavor. A chemical or medicinal flavor may be present in some milk products. Organic products will usually have a more pure flavor due to quality standards for organic certification. PREFERENCE: Consistently Pure.
  10. Sweetness. Cottage cheese should have a sweet fresh milk flavor. Bitter cottage cheese is less pleasant to consume. PREFERENCE: Consistently High Quality.

If the above characteristics are rated on a scale from 1-10, a score of 100 would be idea.

Reference Standard: Anderson Erickson Old Fashioned

Anderson Erickson Old Fashioned Cottage Cheese is a reference standard for cottage cheese. The product has consistently received a score of 100 based on the above criteria. Customer preferences may result in other variations being popular, but for evaluation standards, the A&E Old Fashioned Cottage Cheese is the best available according to the rating system above. [Learn More]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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