Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cream Cheese

In England there are three distinct manners of making cream cheese:

1. Fresh milk strained and lightly drained.
2. Scalded cream dried and drained dry, like Devonshire.
3. Rennet curd ripened, with thin, edible rind, or none, packaged
in small blocks or miniature bricks by dairy companies, as
in the U.S. Philadelphia Cream cheese.

American cream cheeses follow the English pattern, being named from then: region or established brands owned by Breakstone, Borden, Kraft, Shefford, etc.

Cream cheese such as the first listed above is easier to make than cottage cheese or any other. Technically, in fact, it is not a cheese but the dried curd of milk and is often called virginal. Fresh milk is simply strained through muslin in a perforated box through which the whey and extra moisture drains away for three or four days, leaving a residue as firm as fresh butter.

In America, where we mix cream cheese with everything, a popular assortment of twelve sold in New York bears these ingredients and names: Chives, Cherry, Garden, Caviar, Lachs, Pimiento, Olive and Pimiento, Pineapple, Relish, Scallion, Strawberry, and Triple Decker of Relish, Pimiento and Cream in layers.

In Italy there is Stracchino Cream, in Sweden Chantilly. Finally, to come to France, la Foncée or Fromage de Pau, a cream also known around the world as Crême d'Isigny, Double Crême, Fromage à la Crême de Gien, Pots de Crême St. Gervais, etc. etc.

The French go even farther by eating thick fresh cream with Chevretons du Beaujolais and Fromage Blanc in the style that adds à la crême to their already glorified names.

The English came along with Snow Cream Cheese that is more of a dessert, similar to Italian Cream Cheese.

We'd like to have a cheese ice cream to contrast with too sweet ones. Attempts at this have been made, both here and in England; Scottish Caledonian cream came closest. We have frozen cheese with fruit, to be sure, but no true cheese ice cream as yet, though some cream cheeses seem especially suitable.

No comments:

Post a Comment