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    is neufchatel cheese the same as cream cheese

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    culture: the word on cheese

    Rarely do we give Neufchatel a second glance in the dairy department, but this beloved French cheese has a romantic side.

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    Neufchatel Has My Heart

    Emily Dangler | October 14, 2014

    This article is from: Web Exclusive

    The unthinkable has happened: in your grocery shopping haste, you grabbed the your typical gray, rectangular box of cream cheese from the dairy section, but upon unpacking your grocery bags at home you discover that you’ve accidentally picked up a block of Neufchatel instead. You frantically think, What is this?!

    Although they are almost always sold side-by-side, Americans overwhelmingly prefer cream cheese over Neufchatel. Most don’t give poor Neufchatel a second glance, and many have never even tasted it before. But let’s be honest, when was the last time that you had a recipe which called specifically for Neufchatel? It’s a commonly forgotten and overlooked cheese. What’s interesting about anti-Neufchatelism in the United States is that unbeknownst to many, it’s actually  quite similar to cream cheese, making an accidental switch at the grocery a non-issue. While cream cheese is made with 33% milk fat, Neufchatel is just 23% milk fat, in addition to having a slightly higher moisture content. Despite this difference, Neufchatel can be substituted in almost any dish that requires traditional cream cheese. Where the difference between Neufchatel and cream cheese really exists is in the history of the two cheeses.

    By comparison, cream cheese can be considered a youngster among other cheese varieties. Having first emerged onto the food scene in the 1870s, cream cheese has been an American staple for roughly the last century. The story goes that a New York cheesemaker stumbled upon cream cheese in an attempt to recreate France’s oldest cheese, Neufchatel. Dating back to 6th century Europe, Neufchatel originally comes from a French village with its same namesake. Quite unlike the foil-wrapped bricks that came be found in American grocery stores, traditional Neufchatel actually looks very similar to Brie. French Neufchatel is also made with raw cow’s milk, while Americanized versions of Neufchatel and cream cheese are made with pasteurized milk and cream.

    What is most most memorable about real Neufchatel, however, is it’s heart-shaped rind. Cheese legend has it that in during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France, young English soldiers fell in love with French farm girls during the long years of warfare. When the English army eventually returned to their lonely isle, the lovesick maidens who were left behind began making their cheese in the shape of hearts. Who knew cheese could be so romantic?

    Photo Credit: kitchenencounters.typepad.com

    Photo Credit: frolic-blog.com

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    Emily Dangler

    Culture Intern Emily Dangler is a creative writer and travel enthusiast, who is always looking for a good story to tell. Originally a West Coast girl, Emily has spent several years migrating across the country and is currently an adopted resident of Boston, where she is enjoying the city's delicious food and rich history.

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    Neufchâtel Cheese vs. Cream Cheese: How the Cheeses Differ

    When it comes to Neufchâtel cheese and cream cheese, you’ll find key differences between the spreadable dairy products related to their origins and content.

    FOOD

    Neufchâtel Cheese vs. Cream Cheese: How the Cheeses Differ

    Written by the MasterClass staff

    Last updated: Feb 24, 2022 • 4 min read

    Teaches Cooking I

    Both Neufchâtel cheese and cream cheese are soft, creamy, and spreadable, but there are some differences between the two.

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    What Is Neufchâtel Cheese?

    What Is Cream Cheese?

    How Are Neufchâtel Cheese and Cream Cheese Made?

    Neufchâtel Cheese vs. Cream Cheese: 5 Differences Between the Cheeses

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    Source : www.masterclass.com

    What Is Neufchâtel Cheese and How Does It Compare to Cream Cheese

    They're always right next to each other at the store, in nearly identical packaging. Here's the real difference between these creamy cheeses.

    Skills CHEESE

    Neufchâtel & Cream Cheese: What’s the Difference?

    by Nora Singley updated Mar 1, 2021 Save

    Credit: Joe Lingeman

    Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese

    They’re always right next to each other at the store, in nearly identical packaging: cream cheese and Neufchâtel. I’ve always gotten cream cheese, more out of habit than anything else. But the other day when picking up a package of my reliable brand, I realized that I don’t really know what Neufchâtel is, despite the familarity of its name and packaging. I decided to pick some up. And in my research, I discovered that true Neufchâtel isn’t really what you may think it is.

    What Is Neufchâtel Cheese?

    I found, at the origin of this comparative study, what original Neufchâtel actually is: a French cheese dating back to the 6th century, named after a town of the same name, in Normandy. Some argue that Neufchâtel is the oldest known cheese in France, and its make process remains quite similar to the original methods of production. French Neufchâtel is an AOC — that is, name protected — unripened cheese, made with cow milk, and if left to ripen, it will develop a soft, bloomy rind, like brie or camembert. It’s often found in the shape of a heart. Aw.

    Cheese lore tells of a cheesemaker who, in an effort to replicate the cheese in America, ended up with a result more similar to cream cheese than to Neufchâtel. While the French version uses only milk, the American one uses milk and cream. It is this American incarnation that I’ve always wondered about at the store, in that 8-ounce, rectangular block, and it indeed tastes much more like cream cheese than the French cheese that inspired its creation. Another point to note: Neufchâtel in France is made with raw milk, while Neufchâtel in America gets pasteurized.

    What Is the Difference Between Neufchâtel and Cream Cheese?

    On paper, the main distinction between the two cheeses is their fat content: While cream cheese by law must contain at least 33% milk fat and not more than 55% moisture, American Neufchâtel weighs in with about 23% milk fat and slightly higher moisture content.

    Flavor-wise, Neufchâtel isn’t too different from cream cheese. If I hadn’t taken on the ever-thrilling exercise of blind tasting the two side-by-side, I’d never have known it to be any different. Both are dense, milky, slightly tangy, and spreadable. We all know the flavor of cream cheese quite well; Neufchâtel is just ever-so-slightly less rich tasting, and I may have detected a slight granularity to the texture, as well. Verdict on both: undeniably tasty. (What’s not to like, really?)

    Mystery solved. Now time for some baking.

    Nora Singley CONTRIBUTOR

    Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the director of education at Murray's Cheese Shop. Until recently she was a TV chef on The Martha Stewart Show. She is currently a freelance food stylist and recipe developer in New York.

    Source : www.thekitchn.com

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