Food - Drink
The Difference Between Cottage Cheese And Ricotta
By MELISSA NICHOLSON
There are over 1,800 different types of cheeses in the world, and while each one has its own taste and texture, some are much more similar than others. Ricotta and cottage cheese are clearly two different cheeses, but due to their very similar textures, color, and uses, you may be wondering about their biggest culinary differences.
Ricotta isn't technically a cheese at all, since it's not made from curds; it’s made from whey, or the liquid and milk solids left over after the cheesemaking process. Ricotta has a smooth texture with small granules and a fresh yet rich and nutty flavor that’s a must-have in certain pasta dishes, baked goods, salads, and hors-d'oeuvres.
Unlike ricotta, cottage cheese is a true cheese made with the milk solids or curds that are separated from the whey, then salted, giving it a chunky and curdled appearance. It’s saltier than ricotta cheese and makes a great addition in recipes like dips, and it's often eaten by itself or served topped with fruits, vegetables, or condiments.
As similar fresh cheeses, ricotta and cottage cheese are often interchangeable, making an acceptable substitute for one another in pasta dishes and dips. Just keep in mind that cottage cheese is saltier and lumpier than ricotta and tends to be a little more runny, so you may have to strain it a bit before swapping it for the creamier, thicker ricotta.