Ricotta vs Cottage Cheese
Say cheese and you get not just pretty smiles for your camera clicks but hungry faces and people anticipating delicious food recipes. Cheese is a dairy product made from curding of milk and popular in all parts of the world. Two types of cheeses that are especially loved by people around the world are Ricotta and cottage cheese. Many do not seem to appreciate the differences between these two cheeses and use them interchangeably to make dishes. However, there is much difference between the two cheeses that will be clear after reading this article.
Though people call it ricotta cheese, it is actually a byproduct that is left over after making cheese. Cheese is formed with coagulation of casein whereas ricotta is made with coagulation of other milk proteins called globulin and albumin and not casein. When cheese is made, other milk proteins leave the cheese and get separated. This byproduct called whey is used to make ricotta. You may be surprised, but all the protein from the milk is gone from the cheese and remains in the liquid called whey. This liquid is fermented by keeping it at room temperature for a few hours and then heated to bring it to a boiling point. This causes the formation of a curd like substance that is cooled and strained through a fine cloth, to produce ricotta.
When milk is heated and curdled, it gives way and turns into cheese. Cottage cheese is one cheese that is just drained and not pressed to remove its sour taste. If you press it too, the product that you get is the farmer’s cheese or paneer as it is called in Southeast Asian countries. To make cottage cheese, yoghurt or vinegar is added to milk that separates curd from the whey. This curd can be easily drained using a soft transparent cloth to get cottage cheese. However, this cheese has to be kept inside the refrigerator for some time to cool down and to get its famous texture and some shape. Once it is set, it can be taken out and cut into slices, to add to different curries.
What is the difference between Ricotta and Cottage Cheese?
• Cottage cheese is the most common of cheese that is made from the curds that separate upon adding vinegar or any acid to hot milk.
• Ricotta is not a cheese per se as it is made from the nutritious liquid whey that is left over during the production of cheese. Still it is referred to as ricotta cheese.
• Being made of different ingredients, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese have different textures.
• Ricotta is softer than cottage cheese, and it has a grainy texture.
• Cottage cheese appears lumpier than ricotta cheese.
• Cottage cheese contains more calories than ricotta cheese.
• Ricotta is sweeter than cottage cheese that appears bland with curds washed away.
• Ricotta is used more in Italian dishes whereas cottage cheese is used in much more commonly around the world.