Used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the soft spread known as cream cheese may be different than a lot of regular cheeses like American, provolone and cheddar, and it provides a unique taste and texture that fills refrigerators all over the world. Cream cheese continues to grow in popularity and in the range of recipes it's used in.
Worldwide, cream cheese was noted as a popular food during the 1750s and expanded in use in Normandy, France, during the 1850s. It was created and used in the United States in 1872 by a dairy farmer named William Lawrence. The Kraft Co. bought his product and now sales the "Philadelphia" cream cheese that is found in stores today.
Cream cheese is created through a cooling and heating process with milk. Milk is combined with bacteria in freezing temperatures just as the milk is starting to soften. To prevent the milk from turning to liquid, it is quickly moved to a heated area where the product stabilizes and cream cheese is formed. A mixture of other elements like carob gum and guar are added to prevent the cream cheese from liquidizing and losing its water.
Kraft's Philadelphia cream cheese is one of the most popular cream cheeses available and there is a whole range of products. Along with the regular cream cheese, there are flavored cream cheeses that include fruits, chives and even salmon, as well as light versions.
Cream cheese is commonly used on it own, on top of a bagel, English muffin or even toast. Crackers are also popular with cream cheese, but it is included in a lot of recipes, as well. Cream cheese is used in the popular dessert cheesecake, as well as in many dips. It is popular in potato recipes and mixed with other cheeses.
Cream cheese is one of the fattiest cheeses available, so if concerned about nutrition, you may want to opt for "light" cream cheese. It is also important to look at the expiration date on cream cheese, because it can go bad fairly quickly. Look for any spots of mold before consuming the cream cheese.