Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is drained, but not pressed so some whey remains. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from milks with different fat levels and in small curd or large curd preparations. Cottage cheese which is pressed becomes hoop cheese, farmer's cheese, pot cheese or queso blanco.
Cottage cheese is eaten straight where it is like the curds of the nursery rhyme food "curds and whey". It is also eaten in salads, with fruit or as an ingredient in recipes like jello salad, lasagne and various desserts. It is popular among dieters and some health food devotees.
For a recipe using a somewhat similar (but pressed) type of cheese called paneer used in Indian cooking, see mattar paneer.