Cottage cheese has arrived in France!

<Cottage cheese - made in France>You know that saying: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”? Well, that was me with cottage cheese here in France. That weird, lumpy stuff that I shunned as a kid and grew to enjoy as an adult was something I’d pick up on a whim at the supermarket in Australia or England.

The first time I felt that whim in a supermarket in France, I was surprised that it wasn’t on the shelves. I figured it must be out of stock, and I remembered to look for it on my following visit. The search for cottage cheese soon became an obsession, with me checking not just my regular supermarket, but supermarkets in all of Haute Savoie if I happened to be driving by. I was sure that the giant Auchan in Annecy would stock it, but I was wrong. After more than a year, I had given up checking random supermarkets. But I still kept checking on each visit to my local supermarket just in case.

Almost five years later, when I was picking up a few treats on the way through to a BBQ, my eyes were drawn to some green and white packaging, as if it were a glowing holy grail. In a moment that resembled the Tim Tam discovery (a huge gasp and hugging the Tim Tams), I shrieked “Cottage cheese!” in a thankfully empty aisle of Carrefour in Thônes. Yes, the supermarket that brings you Cathedral City Mature now brings you cottage cheese – Recette Anglaise (English recipe) style. I bought it and the next day I wallowed at home in the goodness of the lumpy, squeaky stuff. I ate an entire tub. The second tub was gone within a few more days. That was a few weeks ago. Have I bought it since? Nope. Why? Meh, I don’t miss it now that I know I can get it, of course.

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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12 comments on “Cottage cheese has arrived in France!
  1. Allison says:

    Haha, I can sympathize. For me, it’s cream cheese. I was so thrilled to finally find it here, and now I hardly buy it. And when I go back to the States, I only occasionally buy some of the things I *think* I miss when I’m here – jelly donuts, Lucky Charms, ice coffee.

    Enjoy!

  2. Alisa says:

    I only use it in making lasagna, but we find that “faisselle” does the job quite nicely. And Allison, for cream cheese we’ve always used a “fromage frais,” Kiri, St Moret, or the like. What my husband misses most (and he’s French, haha) is Dr Pepper. Which we can find occasionally at a ridiculous price of a euro or more a can, but not on a regular basis nor at a normal price.

  3. Allison says:

    Yeah, Kiri and Saint Moret are good, but they’re not the same. Now they have Philadelphia at Monoprix, including a very delicious Milka chocolate one, that’s great with strawberries!

    They have Dr. Pepper at the Franprix in Aubervilliers, of all places, but I don’t remember how much it costs.

  4. Alisa says:

    Close enough for me; but like with cottage cheese, I only use cream cheese for baking. (Though I did attempt homemade bagels one time, and they weren’t bad!) And St Moret makes a darn good cheesecake. 🙂

    Aubervilliers, huh? I’ll have to let my husband know. That’s not too far from where he works.

  5. Ron Rundle says:

    Yeah, but what about Vegemite, Wendy?
    Come on, be honest.

  6. Sylvie says:

    Hello Wendy!
    Why, I can not do “copier/ coller” on your articles to help me translate? It’s more difficult for me to read you 🙁
    I wish you a good day.
    Sylvie.

  7. Karen says:

    Loved your blog today. I remember “cottage cheese”. When I would go to stay at my grandparents all those years ago, my grandmother would insist that I had to eat a dish of cottage cheese with a peach at lunch just about every day. Back then, they thought if you didn’t have cottage cheese something terrible would happen to you or worse!!!! Well, I can’t eat the stuff now as a great big kid. I see it is made by Dannon, an American company who also sell yogurt.

  8. Wendy says:

    Alisa and Allison, I’m loving having Philadelphia for cheesecakes and for my cheesy bready dip (soooo tasty).

    Ron, there is *always* Vegemite in my cupboard. Stocks will be replenished next week when I have some visitors from Australia with me. 🙂

    Sylvie, Je suis desolé! J’aivait quelqu’un qui à volée mes articles et puis republié. La meilleure chose à faire est de souscrire – les e-mails sont à votre boîte de réception et vous pouvez copier et coller à partir de là. J’espère que ça aide. 🙂

    Karen, I feel that way about Brussles spouts. There’s no way another one will ever pass my lips! Aren’t we lucky though that it wasn’t the generation of ‘you must eat all this weird-tasting offal’? My mum has some stories!

  9. Les;ey says:

    I look at lots of recipes and think I will try one out. When copied out maybe there is an ingredient that is called for and I have to find a substitute. Philly, cottage cheese, heavy cream, digestive biscuits had not come to my local supermarket. By the time they have I’ve forgotten all about the must try dish.
    I’m not a cook and find that I can manage without knowing the difference between plain and self-raising flour, creme fraiche and fromage frais and of course all the frozen ready made pastries. It is not helped by having to translate into or out of French. It was touch and go when I used my new yoghurt maker and had to find a Live Yog. to start it all. What a thicko !

  10. Wendy says:

    Lesley, that’s brilliant about the yoghurt! I once managed to use levure chemique instead of levure boulangere – even though I knew the difference!

  11. Wendy, I loved your story! I live in Seattle, and was just eating cottage cheese. I LOVE it!!!!
    Soooo, I Googled “do French eat cottage cheese?” And you popped up. The reason being that my best friend from Paris stayed with me for two weeks this summer. She tried the cottage cheese and gaged! She also had never had a bagel, corn on the cob, pancakes, and said that cinnamon was rarely cooked with. While here in America, she bought tons of Jello. She said it was outlawed in France. Crazy!!

    • Wendy says:

      Thanks for your message, Deborah. I’m not sure how the French missed out on cottage cheese, and I’m sad to say my local supermarket no longer stocks it. Bagel shops are (thankfully!) growing in popularity around these parts, although any new, non-French food is often a challenge for French taste buds and accept! Fresh corn on the cob is expensive (and often very tough – mais rather than corn I guess), and I miss being able to buy corn pieces frozen, like I could in Australia.

      The jelly thing is interesting: Mr Hollands tried it once and actually it at a British party and spat it out in disdain. He declared the Brits as insane for ever creating such a bizarre food. I have not offered him trifle. 😀

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