A Gentle Reminder

“Excuse me,” I politely said.
<Man behind deli counter ignores me.>
“Sorry, Sir…”
<Man behind deli counter ignores me.>
“Excuse me, SIR?!”
<Man behind deli counter looks up at me.>
“Hi. Do you know what kind of fish is in the whitefish salad?” I ask, nodding my head to the golden, smoked whole fish just below him.
“Sorry, what KIND of fish is in the whitefish salad.”
“White. Fish,” he explains, as if I’m the asshole here.
“What KIND of WHITE fish?” thinking I couldn’t possibly ask this question more specifically.
“I don’t know.”

While it seems there might be a few definitions for whitefish (according to Wikipedia), I’m still fairly uncertain what the typical smoked whitefish salad is made from. But what I did find particularly interesting in this salad from Lenny’s Deli was the texture. The fish wasn’t pulverized, like most fish salads. This fish stayed intact, allowing cream cheese to keep together big flakes of fish. It was a gentle, but probably unintended, reminder that we’re eating an animal.

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My Cozy Cottage


At first, I had no idea what to do with cottage cheese, so I turned it into a sandwich. But unfortunately, the cottage that I bought was too tangy to eat by the spoonful (which was its intended purpose). So then I did what any respectable human being would do when they have no idea how to make something edible: I fried cottage cheese.

80 was so pleased with my frying—and wanting to eat it by the spoonful, like in his youth—that he bought another tub of it. This cottage cheese was eat-it-out-of-the-container worthy, but I still wanted to figure out new uses.

Like every night, I rummaged through my kitchen. And there were frozen peas. I totally hate peas. They do absolutely nothing for me. Yes, I know, they’re great fresh from the garden. But those aren’t available in the District in February. I’m not even sure why I bought them, in fact, I was fairly pisted when I saw them in there. But I went with it anyway. Peas and cottage cheese, please?

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Unburdened By a Reference Point

cottage cheese sandwich

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.

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