Cream cheese is soft and creamiest of all. Cream cheese is unripened and often contains emulsifiers to lend firmness and lengthen shelf-life. The flavor is mild, fresh-tasting, and sweet, yet has a pleasing slight tang. At room temperature, cream cheese spreads easily and has a smooth and creamy texture. It gives richness to cheesecake, frosting, bagel-toppers, and dips and makes wonderfully light and flaky pastry crusts. Along with these more well-known uses, cream cheese is a main ingredient in many savory dishes as well as desserts as you'll see in the cream cheese recipe collection.
How to Select
Fresh cheeses are highly perishable, and cream cheese is no exception. It should always be kept refrigerated. This is one cheese that you do not want aged. Check the expiration date and buy the freshest you can find. The fresher the cheese, the better the flavor. Cream cheese should be opened within the package dating code period and used within one week after opening. Be sure to keep it tightly wrapped or sealed in the container until gone. If mold forms on the cheese, do not scrape it off and consume the rest. Unlike some cheeses, any mold on cream cheese makes it unsafe to eat, and it should be discarded.
Freezing of cream cheese is not recommended. The cheese suffers a drastic change in texture when thawed.
· Whipped spread able cream cheese may have fewer calories per serving by volume than block cream cheese, but this is only because air is whipped into the cheese to make it more easily spread able. It's still helpful for those who need portion control. Just don't pile it on too thick.
· Low-fat and non-fat varieties will not melt as well because of the lower fat content
· It gives exotic richness to cheesecake, it's important that the cheese be at room temperature before beginning in order to achieve a smooth, creamy result.
· Herbed and fruited cream cheeses are widely available in pre-packaged form, but it's very easy to cream the cheese and add your own favorite herbs or fruit jellies and jams.
· For a quick party dip, bring a block of cream cheese to room temperature and top with salsa, chutney, or fruit preserves. Serve with savory crackers, vegetables, fruits, or cookies.
How to Store
Refrigerate cream cheese, tightly wrapped, and use within a week after opening. If any mold develops on the surface, discard the cream cheese
· High in fat, lower in protein and calcium than other cheese.
· Other than vitamin A, its vitamin content is fairly scarce.
· Overweight people need to avoid it.