The Creamery’s Cream Cheese

Our cream cheese, I know, is hardly anything new any more. We’ve been making it at the Creamery for over ten years now. But every time I taste it, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have it. While great cheese has become readily available all over the country, for whatever reasons, old style, hand-ladled, preservative-free cream cheese like this is still almost non-existent. This is truly a taste of what luxurious eating would have been like for my grandparents’ generation a hundred years ago. Toast up one of those incredible, board-baked bagels from the Bakehouse (poppy and sesame are my personal favorites), top with a generous layer of this cream cheese and you’ve got as good a way to start the day as I can imagine. In case you haven’t yet had it, this stuff is to commercial cream cheese what all those great artisan cheeses I’ve written about are to the prepacked slices of stuff that they sell in supermarkets. It’s made without any of the gums or preservatives you’ll find in most cream cheese, and the cheese makers at the Creamery use fresh milk from nearby Calder Dairy. They slow-pasteurize it over low heat and when it comes time to separate the curd from the whey, they ladle it by hand thus protecting the delicate texture of the curd. You really can’t find a fuller flavored cream cheese than this.

This post is part of a series of Ari’s Best Foods of 2011.