Cream cheese is a very versatile ingredient that could be added both to sweet and savory foods. From cheesecakes to pasta, pizzas, bagels, and many more, there's something exciting to look forward to when we know there's cream cheese. Since the pandemic started and we've had no choice but to stay at home, some of us have been trying out new recipes involving cream cheese.
To make sure that you get the best outcome for your dishes, you also have to make sure that you use the best ingredients. From among many cream cheese brands, we have gathered our best picks in our Top 10 list. But before that, we will discuss the points you need to consider when choosing cream cheese in our buying guide.
I'm sure we all agree that cream cheese is one of the best inventions ever in the food industry. But what exactly is it? According to the FDA, cream cheese is a type of fresh cheese that contains at least 33% fat and a moisture content of 50% or less, and a pH range of 4.4 to 4.9.
Compared to regular types of cheese, it is much softer, smoother, and milder in flavor. Typically, cream cheese production starts with cream, or a combination of cream and milk, being pasteurized and heat-treated to kill any harmful microorganisms. Then lactic acid bacteria are added, making the cheese mildly acidic.
The acid causes the dairy to curdle and the liquid to coagulate. From there, fat droplets are broken into smaller drops, ending in a smooth mixture. Additives can be added to thicken the cheese. Examples of these are carob bean gum and carrageenan.
Then finally, to improve firmness, a clotting enzyme is added. Manufacturers produce different types of cream cheese, but whatever variant it is, cream cheese is a good source of Vitamin A and is low in carbs. However, it is best to consume in moderation because of the high-fat content.
1, 2, 3, say cheese! Choosing is not as easy as saying that, but we're here to give you a hand so it won't be so complicated. When choosing a good cheese brand, keep in mind which type suits your taste. Are you using it in a recipe, or do you simply want an easy yet tasty spread?
We can all agree on one thing - cheese makes everything better. There are various types of cheeses, and each type is not made the same - it could either be natural or processed. What are the differences?
Natural cheese is made from simple, basic, and natural ingredients that include fresh milk, salt, natural colors, and enzymes. It doesn’t contain whey, and it has a shorter shelf life. While this short shelf life might seem like a disadvantage, it actually means that it does not contain a high level of salt and preservatives.
Natural cheese is made from raw, unpasteurized milk and full of healthy fats, probiotics, Vitamins D, B2, and B12. The fresher it is, the more you can enjoy its flavor and deliciousness. Unfortunately, it is not very prevalent in many of the cheeses sold in grocery stores. You can typically find natural cheeses in artisan shops or smaller specialty stores.
Processed cheese is made from a portion of natural cheese mixed with emulsifiers, preservatives, vegetable oils, whey, artificial food coloring, and more. When making processed cheese, its fermentation is stopped so that the flavor doesn’t change. It has a longer shelf life due to the preservatives. Unfortunately, all these additives mean that it is not quite a healthy choice.
You can frequently find processed cheese used in fast food restaurants because of its high "melt factor", that creamy smooth texture of the melt. This is something that natural cheeses don't have. If you do consume processed cheese, make sure to do it in moderation because it can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and hypertension.
Cream cheese typically comes in either a jar, tub or in a block form. Each has a different texture which determines its best usage.
Those in jars or tubs are softer and are formulated in a way that is easy to spread. They're often used in bagels, toasts, crackers, and many more. This type is also easier to store because of the presence of the tub or jar’s lid.
Those in bars or blocks have more versatile uses when it comes to cooking or baking. This is the type of cream cheese used in cheesecakes, pasta, and many more. Cream cheese blocks are usually plain or mild in flavor.
Plain-flavored cream cheeses give you more freedom by allowing you to customize according to your liking. You could combine or top it with different things like fruits, jams, berries, nuts, chocolates, and many more.
There are many types of cream cheese available that range from full-fat, whipped, double cream, low-fat, the list goes on. Nutrition facts vary depending on the type and brand, but in general, one tablespoon of regular cream cheese contains 50.8 calories, 5 g of fat, 0.5 g of sugar, 0.9 g of protein.
Almost 90% of the calories come from fat, and it is mostly saturated fat. That's a little on the unhealthier side if you don’t use or eat in moderation. Light versions have fewer calories and less fat content.
A tablespoon contains about 35 calories and compared to its regular counterpart. It has less than 70% calories from fat. It, however, may sound like a disappointment, but some of the lower-fat or fat-free types’ flavor isn’t as good as its regular counterpart.
Whether you need one for your cheesecake or for your bread, we've got you covered.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Calories||100 kcal/ 30 g|
|Calories||253 kcal/ 100 g|
|Calories||45 kcal/ 25g|
|Flavor||Garlic and Herb|
|Calories||255 kcal/100 g|
|Calories||335 cal/100 g|
|Flavor||Melon and Mango|
|Calories||95cal/ 25 g|
|Calories||37 kcal/ triangle|
|Calories||100 kcal/ 30 g|
Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese Block
Original US Cream Cheese
Natural Cream Cheese Plain
Light Spreadable Cream Cheese
Quescrem Cream Cheese Garlic and Herb
Melon & Mango Fruit Cheese
Cream Cheese Spread
Top Choice for Households, Bakeries and Restaurants
Firm and Smooth American Cream Cheese With Zero Trans Fat
Creamy Fresh Taste Using No Artificial Additives
Perfect Base for Cheesecakes
Classic Cream Cheese in Light and Spreadable Version
Aromatic Touch of Garlic and Herb with a Creamy Texture
Affordable Australian-Made Cream Cheese
A Unique Fruity Cream Cheese
Individually Packed for a Quick Cheese Fix
Tangy and Sweet Cream Cheese Spread
|Price Starts at||₱149.75||₱134.75||₱139||₱370||₱149.75||₱173.75||₱750||₱169.75||₱99.75||₱199|
|Type||Processed, Block||Natural, Block||Natural, Spead||Processed, Brick||Natural, Spread||Natural, Spread||Natural, Brick||Processed||Natural, Triangles||Processed, Spread|
|Amount||250 g||227 g||150 g||1 kg||250 g||200 g||2 kg||125 g||140 g||220 g|
|Flavor||Plain||Plain||Plain||Plain||Plain||Garlic and Herb||Plain||Melon and Mango||Plain||Plain|
|Calories||100 kcal/ 30 g||268 kcal||253 kcal/ 100 g||350 kcal||45 kcal/ 25g||255 kcal/100 g||335 cal/100 g||95cal/ 25 g||37 kcal/ triangle||100 kcal/ 30 g|
Here is a an easy recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for a cream cheese frosting that goes well with different breads and pastries like banana breads, carrot cakes, brownies, red velvet cakes, and many more!
Make your kitchen a world of wonder with the best products and tools for carefree baking sessions. Check out our other article reviews of ovens and bakeware below.
We hope that this guide has helped to point you in the right direction. The list of cream cheese brands we recommended are all great as is or mixed into cooking and baking recipes. Do you already have in mind what you're going to prepare with cream cheese? Is it sweet or savory? Whatever it is, we're sure it will be delicious!
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