Artisanal cottage cheese?
The phrase trips off the tongue much the way “organic corn dog” or “hand-crafted diet soda” might. Because while cottage cheese has been a supermarket staple at least since your grandmother served it with pineapple slices, it retains a ho-hum image as a bland diet food. In the hierarchy of culinary esteem, it’s not too far above Velveeta.
But a small number of curd-loving cheese crafters are challenging that blase image, creating cottage cheeses that are different from the stuff in tubs in the dairy aisle. An artisan, for example, might use milk from grass-fed cows, stir and cut the curds by hand and add cream for a lightly tart, full-bodied cheese.
Admittedly, it remains an ultra-niche product, nowhere near as common as artisanal hard cheeses. But the cottage industry shows the artisanal food movement’s wide reach, as well as the unheralded qualities of a humble cheese.