May 22, 2023 - Food and Drink

Cottage cheese goes from old curdles to new trendy food

three types of cottage cheese

Three cottage cheese flavors from AE Dairy. Photo: Courtesy of AE Dairy

Get ready to welcome cottage cheese with open arms — the dairy dish long associated with grandma's house and diets is experiencing a trendy revitalization.

Driving the news: Thanks to unique recipes popularized on Instagram and TikTok, cottage cheese is making a comeback after long living in the shadows of yogurt.

How it started: Cottage cheese was the top diet food fad of the 1950s, peaking in the '70s. On the day of Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974, he ate pineapple and cottage cheese before leaving office.

  • Back then, the average American ate five pounds of cottage cheese annually. But that's cut down to about half that amount now, NPR reports.

Zoom in: For AE Dairy in Des Moines, the company noticed yogurt was gaining momentum in the 1970s and '80s, spokesperson Trisha Barton tells Axios.

  • The single-serve options made it easy to take in for lunch.
  • Cottage cheese is also a difficult and fragile product for dairy manufacturers to produce in comparison to yogurt — resulting in different qualities depending on where you buy it.

What's happening: Unique recipes such as cottage cheese ice cream and toast are getting younger generations interested in the product again.

  • It's also gaining momentum as a health food rather than a diet fad because it's an inexpensive way of getting lean protein.

What they're saying: “Not all cottage cheese is created equal," Barton says, noting AE cultures its products for 10 hours to avoid a pasty white end result.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Richard Nixon (not Ronald Reagan) resigned in 1974.


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