Cream cheese is a popular dairy product that is used by many people globally. We might consider Parmesan, Cheddar, and Feta as favored types of cheese, but how come this creamy product is considered a cheese as well?
Here we are going to talk about cream cheese, the way it is made, and the different ways we can use it in our everyday life. With no more ado, let’s get down to reviewing this delicious product.
What exactly is cream cheese?
Cream cheese is a fresh and soft cheese with a mild taste that is generally produced from the unskimmed milk of cows. Initially, it was the late 1800s when cream cheese came into popularity. It’s believed that it was first made by a dairyman in New York in 1872 who later expanded the business under the “Philadelphia Brand” trade name. Kraft Foods bought the company in the 1930s, and it’s currently the most renowned brand across the US.
We commonly use cream cheese for breakfast, and from the flavor and texture point of view, we can compare it with mascarpone cheese. FDA has defined 33% fat and no more than 55% moisture for normal cream cheese. However, there are other varieties available for those who want to consume this product with lower fat or no fat. We can now find flavored cream cheese, including fruit, smoked salmon, and vegetables on the market, too.
The procedure of making cream cheese
Making cream cheese is a walk in the park. The main ingredients are lactic acid and cream, which in some cases, can change to a combination of milk and cream. The added acid decreases the pH level of the mixture and consequently forms the curds. Next, the producers separate the whey and heat the curds so that it becomes ready to add the additives.
Having lactic acid means a relatively short life even though you keep the product in the refrigerator. Cream cheese must be consumed fresh, and we should not expect a long shelf life for it. Depending on the procedure of making this product, it can either be crumbly or spreadable. Typically, the traditional recipe results in a powdery cheese.
How to use and store cream cheese?
Cream cheese is one of the products with a high consumption rate in most countries due to its different uses. It can enrich dips, toppings, savory dishes, and frostings to make our meals more colorful and tasty.
You can quickly spread cream cheese on bagels at room temperature and eat a delicious breakfast. Also, you can add it to frosting or make light pastry crusts for a perfect dessert. Plus, the original recipe of some cakes, such as red velvet and carrot, includes cream cheese as the main frosting.
Those who fancy low-sugar and no-bake recipes can also make use of this great product in their desserts. Cheesecakes are the most popular ones in this category that are used in so many countries around the globe.
As earlier stated out, cream cheese should be used fresh, and it is not possible to keep it for a long time after opening. Anyways, if you have to keep it for further use, make sure you place it in the refrigerator and also keep it in its original tub. Wrapping the opened blocks by plastic bags is likewise an excellent approach to store them.
Contrary to normal cheeses, mold is the enemy of cream cheese. If under any circumstances you see a sign of molds on your cream cheese, don’t hesitate to toss the entire container away shortly.
Although you can store cream cheese in the freezer up to six months, the longer you keep it, the worse its texture gets. We suggest using the cream cheese that has been kept in the freezer only for cooking and avoid eating it as breakfast.
Making homemade cream cheese
Making cream cheese at home is quite simple, and you can do it by mixing cream, milk, salt, and an acid (e.g., vinegar or lemon juice). This way, you lend yourself an assortment of customizations and can add herbals, fruits, or spices that best suit your taste. Additionally, the homemade cream cheese provides you with the perk of longer duration in the refrigerator since it can be kept up to two weeks without any problems.
No matter if you make your own cheesecake or go the tried-and-true store route, it’s useful to always have some of this delicious dairy product on hand. You could never know for sure when you feel a desire for that smooth dairy delight, so keep yourself prepared at all times!