All About the Cheese in the Cheesecake

What makes cheesecakes adaptable to any culinary style
is their cheese. Back in Ancient Greece, every market
sold cheeses to those who cannot make their own. By
the time the fourth century B.C. came, the most
accepted white Greek cheeses were being seasoned with
spices and baked into a manner similar to pies and
cakes. Even the Romans, during the height of their
power, used a great deal of cheese in their cooking.
They preserved cheese using a salt-based sauce and
provided the recipe for the celebration of the wedding
cake, which still contain cheese as the main

The Americans and Their Cream Cheese

A soft, mild-tasting, sweet, white cheese is the cream
cheese. Generally, cream cheese contains at least 33
percent milk fat and a moisture content of not more
than 55 percent and a pH level ranging from 4.4 to
4.9. Cream cheese is not usually matured and is meant
to be consumed fresh. This makes it diverse from other
supple cheeses, like the Neufchatel and the Europe’s
Brie. The taste, production and texture of the cream
cheese are more comparable to that of the Mascarpone
and Boursin.

Cream cheese was known to originate in the United
States during the year 1872. In Chester, New York, a
dairyman developed a richer cheese made from whole
milk and cream. During the year 1880, A.L. Reynolds,
one of the cheese distributors in New York, first
began issuing cream cheese, which was then covered in
tin-foil wrappers, called the Philadelphia Brand.
Hence, the name Philadelphia Brand cream cheese was
adopted by the Reynolds for the product since, at that
time, the quality of food products were related with
the city where it originated.

It was not until 1912, when James L. Kraft created the
pasteurized cheese. This invention eventually led to
the improvement of the pasteurized Philadelphia Brand
cream cheese, which is not the most fashionable cheese
used in making cheesecakes.

The French and Their Neufchatel

While the Americans like to use cream cheeses for
their cheesecakes, the French used Neufchatel cheese
in their own culinary style of creating cheesecakes.
Neufchatel is a flavorful cheese that provides
cheesecakes with a light and airy texture and
eventually became the basis of the modern American

The French Neufchatel is slightly crumbly, soft and
mould-ripened made in the region of Normandy. It was
one of the oldest cheeses in France with production
dating back as far as the 6th century. Neufchatel
cheese is somewhat similar to camembert in appearance,
with a white, dry and edible rind, but with a sharper
and saltier taste.

Additionally, Neufchatel cheese has the aroma and
taste of mushrooms. What makes this cheese different
is that unlike other cheeses with soft and white
rinds, Neufchatel cheese has a grainy texture.

Although, Neufchatel has been less popular after the
World War II, several cheesecake recipes still use the
cheese. In fact, there are also Americans who likes to
use Neufchatel instead of cream cheese when making
cheesecakes, which they can purchase at several
gourmet shops.

The Italians and Their Ricotta

When the Italian adopted the cheesecake recipe, they
used ricotta cheese to make their cheesecake a little

Ricotta cheese is a whey cheese made in Italy. It uses
whey, which is a limpid, low-fat and nutritious liquid
that is the by-product of cheese production. In its
basic form, ricotta is also an un-ripened and uncooked
curd, which is normally un-drained of its whey. It has
a fresh, creamy and grainy white appearance, slightly
sweet in taste and usually contains around 5% fat.

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