Why Is It Called Cottage Cheese?

cottage cheese history


Why is it called “cottage cheese”? The logical answer would be that it is cheese made in a cottage. In simple terms, that is true. To dig deeper, “cottage” original referred to a small building for animals or small house called a “cote”. The cottage was a place that dairy products (likely butter) were made with the milk. Cottage cheese is also a dairy product since it is derived from milk.  It is said that the excess milk from creating butter in the cottage was used to create cottage cheese.

cottage cheese history

The earliest use of the word “cottage cheese” in American English was in 1831 as follows: “There was a plate of rye-bread, and a plate of wheat, and a basket of crackers; another plate with half a dozen paltry cakes that looked as if they had been bought under the old Court House; some morsels of dried beef on two little tea-cup plates: and a small glass dish of that preparation of curds, which in vulgar language is called smear-case, but whose nom de guerre is cottage-cheese, at least that was the appellation given it by our hostess. [“Miss Leslie,” “Country Lodgings,” Godey’s “Lady’s Book,” July 1831]” Source.

1 thought on “Why Is It Called Cottage Cheese?”

  1. Could the Cottage in said cheese’s name be tied to it being kept in a spring house or cottage for refrigeration, while other cheese does not require refrigeration? We refrigerate both now, but I remember in a report on how they made still made cheese in Helvetia, WV it was cured it in an unrefrigerated shed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *