The first foods that come to mind when you think of cream cheese are likely the traditional bagel and cream cheese topped with lox and capers or a classic cheesecake. Interestingly, the origins of cream cheese can be traced back to the 1820s when it was produced and sold by family dairy farms around Philadelphia and New York City. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that cream cheese was mass produced and distributed and, ever since, the love for cream cheese has only grown. Today, you can find reduced-fat and fat-free versions of cream cheese to fit your lifestyle.
Cream cheese is a mild-flavored cheese made from a mixture of cream and milk. It differs from other soft cheeses in that it is not aged. It is meant to be consumed fresh and can be compared to European cheeses such as Boursin and Mascarpone cheese. Today, cream cheese has more uses than ever. This mild-flavored soft cheese can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It pairs well with various herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables, making it ideal to use in dips and spreads.
The culinary world will often put a new spin on a classic, ordinary ingredient. Such is the case for Becky Rosenthal, the owner of Becky’s Bites in the East Village of New York City. Rosenthal has opened New York’s first cream cheese shop, where she is creating new desserts with cream cheese, using unique flavor combinations and putting a new spin on classic childhood desserts.
With tailgating in full swing and holiday parties just around the corner, cream cheese is bound to be on your grocery list for a dip, spread, or dessert. Check out some of these delicious cream cheese recipes that are a great addition to any party menu.
- Sun Dried Tomato-Rosemary Cheesecake
- Hot Pizza Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Milk and Cookies Layered Cake
- Chocolate Mint Cheesecake Bites
Whether it’s trying a new recipe like the ones above, or creating your own recipes like Becky Rosenthal, I hope you have the goodness of cream cheese on your next party menu!
Stephanie H. Yow, MS, RD, CSP, LD