Cream cheese is a versatile and creamy dairy product that finds its way into countless recipes, from cheesecakes to bagel spreads. It comes in various styles and flavors around the world, with American and UK cream cheese being two prominent varieties.
In this article, we will explore the differences between American and UK cream cheese, discuss the possibility of getting American-style cream cheese in the UK, and provide tips on making UK cream cheese taste like its American counterpart. Additionally, we’ll look at some American cream cheese alternatives available in the UK.
Difference Between American and UK Cream Cheese
Before diving into the availability of American cream cheese in the UK, let’s understand the key differences between these two popular varieties.
American cream cheese is known for its creamy, smooth, and spreadable texture. It is often used in recipes for cheesecakes and dips due to its consistency.
UK cream cheese, on the other hand, tends to be denser and more crumbly in texture. It is commonly used as a spread for sandwiches and crackers.
American cream cheese generally has a higher fat content, which contributes to its rich and creamy texture.
UK cream cheese typically has a lower fat content, resulting in a firmer texture.
American cream cheese is known for its mild, slightly tangy flavor. It is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
UK cream cheese often has a milder flavor compared to its US counterpart. It may have a slight tanginess but is generally less pronounced.
American cream cheese is widely used in baking, especially in cheesecake recipes. It is also popular as a bagel spread and in dips and frostings.
UK cream cheese is commonly used as a spread for bread, crackers, and sandwiches. It is less frequently used in baking.
Is it Possible to Get American-Style Cream Cheese in the UK?
Yes, it is possible to find USA-style cream cheese in the UK, although it may not be as readily available as the UK version.
Many supermarkets and specialty stores stock American cream cheese, particularly in larger cities or areas with a diverse culinary scene.
Some larger supermarket chains in the UK carry American-style cheese in their international or specialty food sections. Look for brands like Philadelphia, which is a well-known American cream cheese brand.
Consider searching for American cream cheese on online retailers or marketplaces that offer international food products. You can order it and have it delivered to your doorstep.
How to Make UK Cream Cheese Taste Like American Cream Cheese
If you have UK cream cheese on hand and want to make it taste more like its American counterpart, you can try the following steps:
- Add a Tangy Element: American cream cheese has a slightly tangy flavor. To replicate this, mix a small amount of lemon juice or white vinegar into your UK cream cheese. Start with a teaspoon and adjust to your taste.
- Soften the Texture: American cream cheese is known for its creamy and spreadable texture. To achieve this, leave your UK cream cheese out at room temperature for a while to soften it before use. You can also gently warm it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Increase the Fat Content: If you’re willing to add a bit more richness, mix in a small amount of heavy cream or double cream to your UK cream cheese until you achieve the desired texture and richness.
- Seasoning: To enhance the flavor, you can add a pinch of salt and a touch of sugar to your UK cream cheese. Be cautious with the salt, as it can quickly become overpowering.
American Cream Cheese Alternatives in the UK
While you can find American-style cream cheese in the UK, you may also consider exploring alternative options for achieving a similar flavor and texture in your recipes.
Here are some substitutes you can use:
- Mascarpone: Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cream cheese with a rich, creamy texture and mild flavor. It can be an excellent substitute for American cream cheese in desserts like cheesecake.
- Quark: Quark is a German dairy product that has a texture similar to UK cream cheese but is creamier and less tangy. It can work as a substitute in savory dishes.
- Ricotta Cheese: Ricotta cheese is another Italian cheese with a creamy texture. It is often used in desserts and can be an alternative in cheesecake recipes.
- Greek Yogurt or Labneh: Greek yogurt or labneh (strained yogurt) can be used as a healthier and tangy alternative to cream cheese in dips and spreads.
In conclusion, while all cream cheeses have distinct differences in texture and flavor, it is possible to find American-style cream cheese in the UK through various sources, including supermarkets, specialty stores, and online retailers.
If you have UK cream cheese and want to make it taste like its US counterpart, you can experiment with adjustments like adding tangy elements, softening the texture, increasing fat content, and seasoning.
Additionally, there are alternative dairy products available in the UK that can serve as substitutes for American cream cheese in various recipes.
Whether you choose to find American-style cream cheese or use alternatives, you can still enjoy a wide range of delicious dishes that call for this versatile dairy product.