My friend Mary Williams Ulmet, an excellent food geographer/folklorist/socioligist in the field, summarizes her findings from her cottage cheese study. I think you'll be impressed and surprised by the results. Mary writes:
Interesting results? Well, I have to say that my initial hypothesis was not proven true, but I did find some interesting data:
1. I assumed that fruit eating with cottage cheese is culturally a southern phenomenon and that vegetable eating with cottage cheese was a northern phenomenon. My research did not find this to be the case. People from everywhere can and do eat cottage cheese with fruit.
2. On the other hand, I did not find anyone whose roots were in the deep south who ate cottage cheese with vegetables...interesting.
3. Several interviewees did not grow up eating cottage cheese for various reasons, but have discovered it on their own and usually eat it plain or with salty things vs. fruit.
4. One ethnic minority interviewed grew up eating cottage cheese, the rest did not - even if they had southern roots...interesting.
5. The spread of people who eat cottage cheese plain, with vegees, or with fruit is pretty even.
6. Most people who have grown up eating cottage cheese with fruit think the vege/salt&pepper eaters are weird and vice versa. There were just a few exceptions of those who grew up eating it both ways.
SO...what does this all mean???
You can eat cottage cheese any way you like.
If you love cottage cheese, keep eating it with whatever makes you happy- If you don't love cottage cheese, that's okay...I still love you. The marital semi-dispute that sparked this research has come to a close and we now happily eat cottage cheese with the knowledge that yummy cottage-cheese eating is in the eye-of-the-beholder (or ingester, in this case.)
Now you know. Btw, I like my cottage cheese three ways: plain, with pineapple, or on top of a potato mixed with salsa, corn and black beans. :)