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Difference Between Cream Cheese and Neufchatel Cheese

Cream Cheese vs Neufchatel Cheese

There really is a reason why many people are confused between cream cheeses and Neufchatel cheeses. One of the reasons is because there is hardly any difference in terms of looks and taste. Saying one is a tastier cheese than the other is purely subjective. The second reason for the confusion is because of the many commercial variations made under the name of Neufchatel. The differences between the two depend on where you live or where you bought the product.

Clearly, Neufchatel cheese originally comes from France. Hence, other Neufchatel cheeses outside of this country like the U.S. version are not true Neufchatel cheeses. The true Neufchatel cheeses make use of whole milk, and not cream. On the other hand, the Neufchatel cheese version in America is made from cream and pasteurized milk.

Technically speaking, Neufchatel cheese is lower in fat content than cream cheese. No wonder many people regard Neufchatel cheese as the light cream cheese version. Named after Neufchatel, a town in France, it is often described as a soft type of cheese and at the same time unripened. If you compare 1 oz of cream cheese with the same amount of Neufchatel cheese then you’ll discover that the latter has about 6.6 g of fat compared to the former’s 9.9 g.

Neufchatel cheese also has more protein (2.8 g) as compared to cream cheese’s 2.1 g. Both cheeses have the same carbohydrate value. However, these values may vary a little depending on how the cheese was prepared like when some filler ingredients were added to make a certain Neufchatel cheese preparation (i.e. cheese stabilizers).

In France, Neufchatel cheese is just one kind of cream cheese. In fact, it is hailed as one of the oldest cream cheese of the land. Confusion sets in when many American manufacturers label some of their cheese products as Neufchatel cheese just because they contain a lower amount of fat than generic cream cheeses. As mentioned, these are not true Neufchatel cheeses.

Even though there are early roots that trace the history of cream cheese back to France, this cheese product is however made known to the world by an American who planned to copy Neufchatel cheese.

Lastly, cream cheeses are obviously the ideal cheese for making cheese cakes. Substituting the cheese component with other cheeses like the Neufchatel cheese simply won’t do the exact same desired result.

1. Neufchatel cheese has a lower fat content than cream cheese.

2. Neufchatel cheese originated from France while cream cheese, although it had some vague roots in France, flourished in the U.S.

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  1. Can Newfchatel Cheese be frozen? I’m told you can’t freeze Cream Cheese.

    • I have some right here, and the box says DO NOT FREEZE.

    • I froze 2 bricks of cream cheese for a couple of months, and used them this past weekend. It worked great. I put them in the fridge the night before I used them, and had them sit out on the counter for a couple of hours so they would be soft enough to use when I needed them.

    • I always freeze mine. however, beware that lower fat will not freeze well. And as mentioned, thawing is key. if thawed too quickly can separate and become chunky or too watery.

  2. I have successfully used an American version of Neufchatel cheese as a substitute in cheesecake. Perhaps it would work in all recipes, but it worked really well for me.

  3. I had made 2 cheesecakes for the holidays, used a generic brand of Neufchatel cheese bought at Walmart. In the other I used a well known brand of cream cheese. The results produced both cheese cakes had the same good texture & wonderful taste. I found it to have no differences.

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