It’s a cottage cheese world and we’re just living in it. For decades cottage cheese was thought of as a musty, grandma-core diet staple, after it peaked in popularity in the ’70s. In those years, the average American ate five pounds of it a year, until its popularity was eclipsed by yogurt in the ’80s. But everything old is new again, and cottage cheese is back on top, baby!
This summer, Google searches for “cottage cheese” rose to their highest recorded point since 2004, per the New York Times. Like nearly every recent food trend, cottage cheese’s virality can be traced in-part to TikTok where food creators are using it as a base for savory toasts, ice cream, and everything in between.
Yet, for all its popularity, cottage cheese continues to have a strong contingent of haters. And to be fair, they bring up valid points. A lot of cottage cheeses are soupy and loose, tasting like flat, watered-down milk. But there’s one brand of that stands apart from the rest. It’s a cottage cheese so luxuriously thick, with a bite of lactic zing, that Bon Appétit editors—even the cottage cheese skeptics—can’t get enough.
In BA staffers’ kitchens, Good Culture reigns supreme—they swear it’s superior to every other brand of cottage cheese they’ve tried. Food director Chris Morocco, once a cottage cheese hater, loves Good Culture’s “dense, creamy intensity of full-fat dairy, gently set curds, and its bright tangy backnote.”
Senior cooking editor Kelsey Youngman says the clean, pure flavor from Good Culture’s pasture-raised cows really can’t be beat. “When I had Good Culture it was like I had never had cottage cheese before,” she says. “There’s more of that really delicious lactic tang flavor.”
Editorial operations manager Kate Kassin also has some choice words about her favorite curds. “It’s nice and tart,” she says. “The right amount of salty but it’s not too savory.”
When it comes to texture, Good Culture is a far cry from the goopiness of other cottage cheeses. “It’s a lot less runny, so the curds stir into the liquid in a smoother way,” Kelsey says. Kate agrees: “The curds are the right size. They’re not just sitting in a pool of liquid, they’re incorporated. It’s a lot smoother than other cottage cheeses.” Editors especially love that Good Culture is made from dairy, enzymes, and salt, and that it doesn’t include thickeners or other ingredients that some brands incorporate into their products. “I feel like it even tastes like it doesn’t have any filler in it,” Kate says.
Ask our staff how they like to use their Good Culture cottage cheese and 37 minutes later you’ll have to politely excuse yourself to catch a train that doesn’t actually exist.You can eat it plain for a tangy treat, take it sweet, or it’ll be more than happy to go on a savory journey with you. Kelsey enjoys it on a bagel for a protein-rich cream cheese replacement, while Kate stirs it into her scrambled eggs for a soft scramble with a bit of extra zip. Senior cooking editor Emma Laperruque loves to top it with giardineria and a squeeze of olive oil. It’ll work as the base of a creamy, dreamy breakfast bowl, in a light and airy summer salad, or it can be substituted in many places you’d use Greek yogurt or ricotta.
Actually, in some places, it works even better than ricotta. Take food editor Shilpa Uskokovic’s life-changing Cottage Cheese Lasagna. “Thanks to its defined small curds, cottage cheese stays moist instead of turning chalky as ricotta is prone to do after an extended cooking time,” Shilpa explains. On its own or with a slew of other ingredients, a good cottage cheese is a power player—grab a container and stir a spoonful into your next creamy recipe.
This is the whey