Sunday, December 2, 2012

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

If you plan on making a couple of cheesecakes, Kraft offers Philadelphia cream cheese in a mega-brick just for you. I never in life thought I'd buy one of these giant things but when you shop at Costco you shop big.

Now that I've got some Philly in my hands, it's time to take a look at the ingredients  and see what the big deal is about it, why so many recipes specify this brand.

Pasteurized milk and cream, cheese culture, salt, carob bean gum. Huh. I don't know. Maybe the supposed magic is that they only use carob bean gum instead of other stabilizers such as xanthan or guar gums like Stater Bros. brand does. Could that be it? They might use more cream since the fat is higher per ounce than the store brand.

Does it really matter to me? Nope. I'm going to chalk it up to awesome marketing* until I see (or you insist) it's just better and how exactly that is.

I used the dotted lines to eyeball the equivalent of three 8-oz bricks. It's pretty close. I got 1 lb 7 oz.

And yes, I'm anal enough that I tared the balance before weighing out another 1 ounce.

Philadelphia cream cheese available in the dairy cooler at Costco for $7.19 a 3 lb brick, making each  8-ounce section about $1.20.

*Did you see the episode of Cake Boss where Buddy's family goes to Italy and he's concerned that he won't be able to find cream cheese for a cake? Turns out all he had to say was Philadelphia.