Ever wonder about what it takes to make that container of cottage cheese you grab off the grocery store shelf? Maybe not, but I bet you'd be surprised to find out it takes 10-11 hours to turn a vat full of milk into your cottage cheese!
We usually start filling our cottage cheese vat around 2 AM. The pasteurized (but not homogenized!) milk that is pumped into the vat is what will eventually become the "curd" part of the finished product. It gets a few ingredients added to it, a little stir and then it sits for HOURS while we wait for the magic to happen.
Meanwhile, we begin working on the dressing, which is the liquid part of cottage cheese. Milk and cream in our raw room is mixed up, pasteurized, cooled and then stored in a tank until the time comes to mix it with the curd. Then we head back to the curd vat...
And magically the curd has appeared! It is all one giant mat of cheese and needs to be cut with special cheese knives, to make the tiny curd pieces you find in your cottage cheese container. After we cut it then it has to be cooked, so we stir and cook, and stir and cook, and stir and cook for a couple more hours. Finally, we get to start draining the whey off the curd and eventually, we have a giant vat of cottage cheese curd that is ready to be mixed with the dressing. Dressing is added and then we package our finished product into the containers that you pick up at your local store!
Want to see the process in action? Come visit us and take a tour of our processing plant! We can't guarantee that you will get to see cottage cheese being made, but we process our products almost every day, Monday-Friday, so chances are pretty good you will be able to learn about how we make our non-homogenized milk, cheese curds, butter or ice cream. To set up a tour give us a call at (563)568-4950 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for our non-homogenized cottage cheese near you? Check out these local stores. Don't see your store or town listed! Let us know where you would like to see our products and we will do our best to get them to you.
Waukon - WW Homestead Dairy Retail Store, Fareway Waukon, Quillins
Decorah Fareway - Decorah, IA
Timbe Ridge Country Market - Osceola, IA
Iowa Food Cooperative - Des Moines, IA
Steve's Country Meats - Genoa, WI
Moore Family Farm - Maquoketa, IA
Country View Dairy - Hawkeye, IA
HyVee Asbury - Dubuque, IA
Cresco Fareway - Cresco, IA
Udder Brothers Creamery - Boscobel, WI
By the Spoonful - McGregor, IA
Unionland Feed & Food Market - West Union, IA
Local Oven Bakery - Prairie du Chien, WI