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Artisanal Cream Cheese
We mail-ordered three artisanal cream cheeses to see if they could beat our supermarket favorite.
Zingerman’s Creamery Fresh Cream Cheese
What You Need To Know
While artisanal cream cheese won’t be putting big national brands out of business anytime soon, we wondered if a small-batch, handmade approach to this everyday supermarket staple could take it to the next level. To find out, we mail-ordered three cheeses, from Vermont, Michigan, and Virginia.
To focus on flavor, we sampled the cheeses plain. Tasters gave top marks to the most co...
Everything We Tested
Made at a creamery founded by the Ann Arbor delicatessen of the same name, this cheese won top marks for being supercreamy and smooth, with “impressive depth of flavor.” The saltiest cheese in the lineup, it also boasted “floral” and “herbal” notes, with hints of “lavender” and “radish.”
We found this cream cheese from a Virginia farm to be “moist” and “light,” with a “very smooth, pleasant texture.” Its tangy, “lemony” brightness reminded tasters of sour cream and crème fraîche. They also noted appealing “earthy undertones” when the cream cheese was sampled on its own. These flavors were harder to detect when the cream cheese was spread on a bagel.
The least like supermarket cream cheese, this Vermont offering had a drier, more crumbly texture that tasters likened to fresh goat cheese. While some tasters found this “off-putting,” others described it as “enjoyable.” This cream cheese’s flavor was the most “subtle” of the lineup. Though still “tangy” and “tart,” it was the “buttery” and “milky” notes of dairy and “fresh cream” that stood out most to tasters.
Reviews you can trust
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