Cottage Cheese, Cling Peaches Mystery Solved


I would like to produce a photo of cottage cheese and cling peaches, but I never have such in my home so please accept this picture of a chicken messing up my mulch in its stead. It’s a more appealing photo, I’m sure, despite the messing of my mulch onto the walkway.

Which drives me crazy.

But that’s what my chickens live for.


In writing a column for this coming Monday’s Charleston Daily Mail, I decided to, in my shallow way, research the genesis of the widespread popularization of the cottage cheese as side salad phenomenon. I came to the conclusion that Life Magazine was responsible.

Your Honor, see the March 7, 1960 evidence here.

We can but be grateful it ceased publication. But not soon enough to save our childhoods!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 10, 2013  

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25 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-10

    Good lord, print photographs are definitely not what they are today. The second picture, I think…I looked at it for a full minute or two thinking “Oh my God is that BACON and cottage cheese and a cling peach!?” :shocked: Then I read the teeny, tiny caption. The chicken photo is a definite improvement over the uh, side dish.

  2. 5-10

    Hubster was a huge fan of cottage cheese and peaches, which I’m sure he picked up from his beloved Kansas-born-and-bred grandmother. He would have been 18 in 1960, so sounds about right. :yes:

  3. 5-10

    We got it with the peaches or with canned pineapple. Ugh. I wouldn’t eat cottage cheese for years. And now, when I use raw milk to make a simple soft cheese well, now, that is scrumptious. No syrupy fruits though. Ever. :shimmy:

  4. 5-10

    I’m still trying to perfect homemade cottage cheese, I love the stuff. And I like it with peaches, pineapple, or pears. My all-time favorite though is on top of slices of a tomato I just picked out of my garden! Pardon me while I go glare at my garden and be mad at it for not making tomatoes yet.

  5. 5-10

    It was also a popular lunch for the stars of Hollywood. This was called the Hollywood Bowl Salad (from 1950 LIFE). I’m also pretty sure I have seen this combination in my collection of 1940s magazines, too.

  6. 5-10

    My parents both loved this but my brother and I never acquired a taste for the “salad”. In my case cottage cheese looks like curdled mayonnaise.

  7. 5-10

    My grandfather would drizzle Karo syrup on his cottage cheese. He lived to be quite old but you just could not pay me enough to do it today.

  8. 5-10

    Oooooh, a glowing wreath! :lol:
    I shall rush out now and get peaches and cottage cheese ;)

  9. 5-10

    Oh, yes, the old cottage cheese and peaches! It was huge during the 50’s. I was fine with it until one day accidently getting too much syrup on it and it was utterly disgusting. Pineapple juice just doesn’t seem to have the same effect. But, peaches with cottage cheese is OK (certainly not a favorite!) IF you drain the peaches quite well before combining the two.

  10. 5-10

    Ahh these pages look as if they were marketing placements developed by the “California Cling Peach Growers.” My guess is that the marketing agency who handled the fruit organization’s account also had a dairy account. At one time I had dozens of cookbooks developed to promote single foods such as avocados. crisco(!), Baker’s chocolate, canned salmon, banana liquor, Kahlua, and others. Of course, we are all familiar with the Jello® cook books. Just think. our moms and grandmas found these promotional recipes exotic.

  11. 5-10

    I’m pretty sure cottage cheese and canned fruit goes back to the 30’s and possibly earlier. My mother served c.cheese and usually her canned pears in the late 40’s and until the 90’s and it wasn’t a new dish. I also remember one grandfather combining c.cheese and tomatoes…..I seldom saw him so of course thought he was odd. And obviously not specific to only one part of the country. Does anyone use c.cheese rather than ricotta in their lasagne?

  12. 5-10

    I loved looking at that magazine, and I still love cottage cheese. :yes:

  13. 5-10

    How about those saltine appetizers! Yumm!

  14. 5-10

    I love cottage cheese with peaches and/or pineapple (and tomatoes) and I loved Life magazine…call me crazy.

  15. 5-11

    No comment on the peaches and cottage cheese, but I love reading those old magazine on Google! This particular issue includes the amazing possibility of receiving international telephone calls and live television programming, by SATELLITE! Wow! There was also an article about a young boy who learned how to print his own books on a press from a neighbor. I got curious if he and that article were ever referenced in his future. I did not find an exact reference to the boy and the article, but I did find a disturbing murder story of someone with the same name who would be the same age. You never know what you will find in those old magazines or on the Internet. Fascinating reading, took my mind of the peaches and cottage cheese entirely. Oh, I guess not. :)

  16. 5-11

    I looked up the cottage cheese/cling peach thing yesterday after reading your post. I was left thinking you were lucky it wasn’t ‘candle salad’!

  17. 5-11

    I grew up with canned pear halves topped with cottage cheese. It was a treat and still one of my favorite snacks. When my kids were little, I turned the pear halves over, and made them bunny rabbits with sweet pickle halves for ears and cottage cheese for tails after my son asked what was for dinner and I smarted off by saying “Pickled Bunny Rabbit Ears”. I had to follow thru :happyflower:

  18. 5-11

    I was born in 1960. Both my parents and maternal grandparents LOVED the fruit and cottage cheese side salad. My mom had Dessert Rose china with little bowls that were perfect for it. Usually a canned peach half, canned pear half or ring of pineapple (canned too). Del Monte and Dole of course! I think I’ll have to go out a buy cottage cheese now. I do like it with fresh fruit. Another recipe the parents of an old boyfriend served was chopped green onions and pepper mixed into cottage cheese served with crackers. Must be another 50s appetizer. BUT my grandmother Anne and mother Dorothy did can foods the old fashioned way too. We had canned pear preserves, fig jam, strawberry preserves, tomato preserves, regular tomatoes canned, creamed corn (canned frozen) and I’m sure other stuff but those were my favorites. I remember fondly the homemade creamed corn that they made by the huge pot full. It was a yummy treat. Of course I don’t have a recipe for it. Both Mom and Grandmother died when I was under 23 and not yet cooking for myself.

  19. 5-11

    My dad was into pears and mayonnaise. I can’t look at a pear and mayo makes me sick. Ick.

  20. 5-11

    I LOVE cottage cheese and peaches! Or pears! Sometimes mandarin oranges! It seems the fruit needs to be canned for that concentrated sweetness. This made me go look for a recipe for homemade cottage cheese. Turns out some recipes are similar,to Suzanne’s Lactic Cheese, just not drained nearly as long.
    I guess we were products of all the latest convenience foods being the newly suburban kids of the 60’s. And I definitely liked cottage cheese and canned peaches better than Shake N Bake pork chops.
    I remember my mother dieting on cottage cheese, canned tuna, and iceberg lettuce, all sprinkled with white cheese from a green can.

  21. 5-11

    I’ve spent the last half hour or more just browsing the magazine. I found myself lost in some of the stories. I remember all the to do over Princess Margaret’s engagement, and the heartbreak of her not being able to marry the man she loved. Ah, the memories.

    Oh yeah….I love cottage cheese and apple butter! :dancingmonster:

  22. 5-11

    I found ads for cottage cheese & peaches going all the way back to late 1900. Most were somewhat local, but also ads in Texas and New Mexico newspapers.

  23. 5-12

    My dad ate his cottage cheese with sugar on it. He said he picked that up from his grandmother. It is disgusting, I like it with pepper. No sugar, no peaches just pepper. And it has to be large curd, for some unknown reason I cannot eat small curd. I say to each their own, if you like it, eat it.

  24. 5-13

    Please tell me they didn’t suggest heating the peach in bacon drippings. Please.

    “Shimmering cubes of Jello”? Exotic! And fancy! And did I say exotic?

  25. 5-13

    Ah, yes. This is exactly the type of thing that gave James Lileks the inspiration to create “The Gallery of Regrettable Food”. Take a look:

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