Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient widely used in a variety of cuisines and desserts across the globe. However, it is less common in India than in other parts of the world. This blog will explore everything about cream cheese in India and where to find or buy it.
Cream cheese is great for bakery and cooking concepts and adds a mouth-watering creamy flavour to dishes. Fresh Cream cheese is soft, smooth tasting, spreadable (at room temperature), and usually made from a mixture of cow's milk and cream. Its creamy texture, mildly sweet flavour, and slightly tangy taste make it much more versatile than other cheeses.
Although cream cheese is uncommon in traditional Indian cuisine, it has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, especially in cuisine combining Indian and Western flavours, such as cheesecakes, sandwiches, Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala and dips. In addition, it’s also gaining popularity as a frosting for baked goods such as muffins, cheesecakes, cupcakes and more.
If you are looking for premium cream cheese in India, you can find it in supermarkets and speciality grocery stores in major cities. You can also buy cream cheese online in India from e-commerce platforms like Amazon or from the official websites of popular cheese brands.
How is Cream Cheese Made?
Since cream cheese can be made both commercially and at home, its recipe may vary. To make Indian cream cheese, a mixture of full-fat milk and heavy cream(2:1 ratio) is heated, and then a bacterial culture (acidic substance) is added to this mixture for acidification.
The acidic substance converts the milk lactose into lactic acid, which forms curd. The curdle mixture is then stirred until it separates into curds and whey. Making perfect cream cheese at home is a bit complicated, and the chances of it turning out perfect are slim. It is better to buy the best cream cheese online.
Is cream cheese the same as cheese spread?
To some extent, cream cheese and cheese spread are similar products, but they are not exactly the same cheese.
Cream cheese is a mixture of milk and cream and has a smooth and creamy texture. It’s mild, slightly tangy, and usually used in cooking and baking but can be used as a spread on toast, bagels, and crackers.
On the other hand, a cheese spread is a mixture of ingredients like cheese cream, butter, herbs, and spices. It is commonly used as a spread or dip for vegetables or bread. Cheese spread is a relatively saltier and more spreadable version of cream cheese which is not meant for cooking but consumed directly.
History of Cream Cheese in India
Cream cheese or Cheese spread is not a conventional ingredient in Indian cuisine. However, with the growth of Western influence in India and the popularity of international cuisine, cream cheese has become more widely available, especially in urban areas of India where it is used in various cuisines.
While cream cheese was not traditionally used in Indian cuisine, the history of making cream cheese in India is not precisely traceable. Its introduction in India is attributed mainly to the influence of British and American cuisine. Its history can be traced back to the early 20th century when British colonists and American expatriates introduced it to the local population. It soon started to gain popularity as a gourmet ingredient.
Cream cheese is not as famous in India as in Western countries, but it is slowly gaining acceptance in the Indian cuisine and market. Since it’s often an essential ingredient in international cuisine, it is more prevalent among people who enjoy global food. A crucial reason for the popularity of cream cheese in India is its versatility (meaning it can be used in a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes).
Indian cream cheese is mainly used in baking cakes, desserts, dips, and other recipes. The food services industry, such as cafes and bakeries, has contributed significantly to the popularity of cheese cream. As a result, many international and homemade cream cheese brands, including Philadelphia, Kraft, and Britannia, have entered the Indian market.
Local dairy companies such as GaoFarm, Amul and Nutora have also started producing their versions of cream cheese. Indian cream cheese brand GaoFarm provides healthy premium cream cheese and spreads at affordable prices.
Are Paneer & Cream Cheese the Same?
Absolutely not, paneer and cream cheese are very different, but they share some similarities, as both are made by separating cheese curds from the whey.
Paneer is a type of fresh cheese commonly used in Indian cuisine. Paneer is made only with milk, while cream cheese is a mixture of milk and cream. Because of this, paneer has a higher percentage of fat.
Another significant difference between Paneer and cream cheese is that the cream cheese recipe uses a more acidic ingredient to give a slightly tangy taste to the final product. But this is not true with paneer, as paneer has a neutral flavour. So paneer cannot be used for baking.
Which brand of cream cheese is best in India?
In India, cream cheese is used in various recipes, from cheesecakes and dips to bagels, spreads, frostings, sandwiches, and more. You will find many cream cheese brands in Indian supermarkets and online stores. Some of the popular ones are:
GaoFarm is the best cream cheese in India and is becoming a household name. It is a premium cream cheese brand with many unique flavours, and it's made from fresh milk and cream. If you want to add high-protein food to your diet, go with the premium cream cheese from GaoFarm. You can buy it online without any hassle through Gaofarmshop.com. The mild, tangy taste with a smooth and creamy texture of GaoFarm Cream Cheese makes it unique among other brands. This brand has gained tremendous popularity recently as it is among the most healthy Indian cream cheese.
This is a well-known brand and is widely available. Philadelphia Cream Cheese is smooth and creamy, perfect for cream sandwiches, bagels, toast, or crackers.
Britannia is a known for providing high-quality products. Their cream cheese is rich and creamy, making it perfect for cheesecakes, spreads, and dips.
It is made from high-quality milk and cream. Dlecta is more commonly used in Indian and Western cuisines.
Another cheese cream brand popular is Go Cheese. It also deals in several dairy products.
Unflavored Vs. Flavoured Cream Cheese
When choosing between unflavoured and flavoured cream cheese, people are often confused. While the decision ultimately depends on your taste and intended use.
Unflavoured cream cheese has a mild or neutral flavour and is used more in savoury dishes such as dips, desserts and spreads. It is also used to make cheesecakes because its neutral flavour makes other ingredients shine.
On the other hand, flavoured cream cheese and cheese spreads add an extra layer of flavour to the dishes. Unique flavoured cream cheese spreads range in flavour from wasabi, honey, saffron, mustard seeds, red chilli pepper, bhut jolokia, garlic, herbs and many more. It is often used as a vegetable dip or a spread for bagels.
Culinary Uses of Cream Cheese in India
As mentioned earlier, cream cheese is not a conventional ingredient in Indian cuisine but adds an extra flavour to some Indian dishes. It is available in different flavours (from savoury to sweet, sour to garlic), so you can use it to balance the spiciness of dishes or add a distinctly sweet flavour.
Cream cheese adds flavour and richness to many Indian dishes such as Paneer Makhani (Butter Cheese), Malai Dal Makhani, Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala, Creamy Butter Chicken, Creamy Palak Paneer, and stuffed parathas.
Popular Western cuisine that uses the best cream cheese in India includes Mac and Cheese, Baked pasta, Cream Cheese Spaghetti, Quinoa & vegetable casserole, smoked salmon, bagels, creamy pasta dishes (alfredo), and creamy dips for crackers or chips.
It is also widely used in bakery and pastry products. Cream cheese is used in cheesecakes, frostings, Danish pastries, bagels, brownies, muffins, and more. The savoury tang of it makes it suitable for making savoury fillings or toppings in pastry products. If you are looking for the best cream cheese for baking, go for GoFarm's Chef’s Choice Cream Cheese.
Buying and Storing the Best Cream Cheese in India
You can find cream cheese in supermarkets and grocery stores in major cities or online, especially in the refrigerated dairy section. Different brands and varieties of cream cheese are available, ranging from regular to flavoured cream cheese and from low-fat and full-fat to high-protein cheese options. Check the expiry date when buying and choose a reputed brand. If you want to go with a respected Indian cream cheese brand, you can never go wrong with GaoFarm online to buy cream cheese and cheese spreads. You can buy them from their official website, gaofarmshop.com.
The availability and brands of cream cheese in India may vary by location and store, so you can also check online as per your location. Today, many online food/grocery stores and brands provide the facility to shop and buy cream cheese online and deliver it directly to your doorstep.
Here are some tips for storing cream cheese in India:
- Keep it stored in the refrigerator at all times, preferably at a temperature between 2-5°C. This prevents bacterial growth in the cheese and maintains its quality.
- Use an airtight container to store it to retain its freshness and not absorb odours from other foods in the refrigerator.
- Don't freeze cream cheese; it can change its texture and taste.
- Cream cheese is a perishable product with no long shelf life, so it should be consumed within a few days after opening the container.
- To avoid health risks, it’s important to check the expiry date while buying it.
Health Benefits and Nutritional Information
Nutritional Information of Best Cream Cheese in India:
100 grams of high-protein cream cheese contains approximately
- Energy(Kcal): 308
- Fat: 28 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
- Sugar: 00 gram
- Carbohydrates: 05 gram
- Sodium: 396 mg
Like other dairy products, cream cheese is a good source of nutrients but should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Some of the potential health benefits of consuming it in moderation are:
- It’s a good source of protein essential for building and repairing muscles, tissues, and organs of the body.
- It’s a good source of fat that provides energy and helps the body absorb specific vitamins.
- Cream cheese is a moderate calcium source essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin A in cream cheese is vital for maintaining healthy vision, skin glow, and immune function.
- Cream cheese also contains B vitamins for promoting healthy skin, energy metabolism, hair, and nails.
However, cream cheese is high in fat and calories, so it is necessary to consume it in moderation for a healthy body.
Consuming too much cheese cream can lead to various potential risks and drawbacks. You will find many high-protein cream cheeses in India, but you should proceed knowing the potential risk. It is a high-fat and high-calorie food that can increase weight, raise cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of heart disease.
Due to this, people with lactose intolerance or milk allergy may experience digestive discomfort or allergic reactions to dairy products. In addition, cheese cream contains sodium, and excess consumption can lead to health problems related to high blood pressure. Therefore, it needs to be enjoyed in moderation.
The influence of Western-style cuisine made cream cheese famous in India. The versatility of cream cheese makes it a valuable ingredient for both savoury and sweet dishes. It is often used as a spread on bread, bagels, and crackers in dips, desserts, and pasta.
The high price and limited fresh cream cheese availability still make it a luxury item in the Indian market. However, its growing demand has given rise to domestic cream cheese manufacturers offering more affordable alternatives. GaoFarm Cream Cheese is among the most economical premium cream cheese in India.
Overall, cream cheese has become an essential ingredient of Indian cuisine, and its quantity and popularity are expected to grow further in the future.