#17 – Cream Cheese
Cream cheese facts:
- Cream cheese is a fresh, soft mild tasting cheese produced from unskimmed cow’s milk. Given that it is made from a combination cream and milk, the cheese has a high fat content.
- The US Department of Agriculture defines the dairy product as containing at least 33% milk fat (as marketed) with a moisture content of not more than 55%, and a pH range of 4.4 to 4.9. In other countries, it is defined differently and may need a considerably higher fat content.
- Neufchatel cheese, the inspiration for conventional block cream cheese, originated in Neufchatel-en-Bray, France in the mid-1500s. Over the next few centuries, it became one of France’s most renowned cheeses.
- In 1872, William Chester, a New York dairyman, accidentally discovered a cheese making method that produced a creamy mild cheese while he, along with his contemporaries, tried to duplicate the French Neufchatel recipe. He sold it as “cream cheese” to the Empire Cheese Company, who in turn marketed it under the “Philadelphia” brand. James Kraft developed a pasteurizing technique for this new cheese in 1912 and in 1928, the Phenix Cheese Company, owners of Philadelphia, merged with the Kraft Cheese Company.
- Cream cheese is categorized as a fresh cheese since it is unaged. As a result, it has a short shelf life, once opened.