Topic: What exactly is CREA,M CHEESE

perfection    -- 12-01-2002 @ 12:17 AM
I'm from India
Sorry if this is the wrong forum but will somweonw please help
There is some confusion here as to
"what exactly is a cream cheese"
Could someone define or expalin it to me
How does it differe from soft cheese like say Feta?
Please give me (generic and branded)examples of the same

I have heard of Philadelphia cream cheese
What about petit suisse and Triple Gloucester and Mascarpone would they qualify in this category od cream cheese

diana    -- 12-01-2002 @ 8:57 AM
  Hi and Welcome to Diana's Desserts Discussion Forum,

To answer your question, here is the definition of Cream Cheese:

Thanks to American ingenuity, cream cheese--the most popular ingredient for cheesecake--was developed in 1872. The appellation comes from the smooth, creamy texture of this mildly tangy, spreadable cheese. The soft, unripened cheese is made from cow's milk and by law must contain at least 33 percent milk fat and not more than 55 percent moisture. Gum arabic is added to some cream cheese to increase firmness and shelf life. American neufch√Ętel cheese is slightly lower in calories because of a lower milk fat content (about 23 percent). It also contains slightly more moisture. Light or lowfat cream cheese has about half the calories as the regular style and nonfat cream cheese has zero fat grams. The easily spreadable whipped cream cheese has been made soft and fluffy by air being whipped into it. It has fewer calories per serving than regular cream cheese only because there's less volume per serving. Cream cheese is sometimes sold mixed with other ingredients such as herbs, spices or fruit. Refrigerate cream cheese, tightly wrapped, and use within a week after opening. If any mold develops on the surface, discard the cream cheese.

--Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

Philadelphia Brand (made by Kraft) Cream Cheese is the most poplular brand of cream cheese here in the USA, and is also sold all over the world. There are other brands, but I don't know what their names are.

Mascarpone can be used instead of cream cheese, especially when making cheesecakes, and other sweet desserts.

Petit suisse and triple gloucester cannot be substituted for cream cheese. And Feta definitely CANNOT be substituted for cream cheese in a sweets recipe, as cream chesse does not have a strong or sharp taste as feta sometimes has, and the consistency of cream cheese is not crumbly. It is very creamy and smooth. It is often used as a spread on bagels and other breads and crackers, and sometimes cream cheese is mixed with other things, such as herbs or fruit to use as a spread or a dip.

Sometimes "quark" or "ricotta" and "mascarpone" cheeses are used instead of cream cheese in some sweets recipes, such as cheesecake.

Hope this information helps. Please post to the forum your comments on this.

Sincerely, Diana
Diana's Desserts

TeckPoh    -- 12-06-2002 @ 7:27 AM
  Greetings from Malaysia!
Another brand of cream cheese (besides Philadelphia)which is sold here is Anchor.

warm regards,TeckPoh

perfection    -- 12-12-2002 @ 7:31 PM
  The information you provided in answer to my post was really, really helpful - Diana and has already been put to much use in terms of education at my college

The real rerason of the confusion was that in Restaurant Service we teach students cheese service and one eminent British author's book listed that we should serve castor sugar as an accompaniment with cream cheese.  Did not have much idea in what respect cream cheese was mentioned - the strict sense (its definition) or a more liberal one (including close substitutes). Hence the search for more information on the same.  We also thought that the European and American definitions or understandings were a little different in this respect.    

Thanks again for the light shed on this topic and if you have anything to add to the above please do so with a reply post

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