Unburdened By a Reference Point
Although I was only in Florida for a few days, I became enamored with two new foods, actually, three. I’ve already declared my love and ambition for smoked whitefish. The other two are Cuban toast and cottage cheese. Cuban toast comes pre-buttered, which is an obvious win. And then there’s cottage cheese.
I’ve never tried cottage cheese before. I remember seeing it— bright white and slimy—in my college cafeteria. I never touched it. I haven’t had any exposure to the cheese since. I’ve never seen it in any fridge I’ve lived with. I’ve never been served it at a friend’s house. I’ve never seen it ordered at a restaurant.
In the morning before our flight back to DC my uncle asked what I wanted for breakfast. I said I didn’t eat breakfast. He gave me the whole metabolism spiel and listed a few choices. One of them cottage cheese. I jumped on it. I’ve been wanting to try it and it would make my uncle happy, so he scooped a spoonful on a plate. I took a bit. Magic.
It was like a congealed, less tangy, less salty feta. It was awesome. And it’s supposed to be good for you, no?
A few days later I purchased both a half pound of smoked whitefish and a tub of cottage cheese. I bought Nancy’s brand cottage cheese. It looked healthier than the rest, with the addition of L. acidophilus, B. bifidum and four strains of lactic cultures, plus it was on a sale.
Nancy’s cottage cheese, though, delivers on its promise of unique old-fashioned tangy character. This cottage cheese tasted like yogurt, not feta light. It was okay, but kinda weird to eat by the spoonful. It needed to be toned down.
Cottage Cheese Sandwich
Because I have no reference point for cottage cheese, I didn’t know how to properly consume it. Turning it into a sandwich filling seemed right. Until 80 wrinkled up his face at the notion. He ended up liking it, of course.
Combine cottage cheese, spicy brown mustard, lemon juice, Tabasco, scallions, salt and pepper. Lay red leaf lettuce on a slice of pumpernickel toast and spread cottage cheese mixture on top. Close sandwich with another slice of toast and cut in half.
Any ideas on what to do with the rest of the cottage cheese?