Cream cheese is a smooth, white, mild-tasting cheese made from cream and milk. Purchase in bulk at good-quality delicatessens for a cheese with a better taste and a creamier texture. Refrigerate and use within a week.
To soften cream cheese:
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a microwave oven set on high. Heat for 20 seconds, repeating if necessary until soft. Or, immerse cheese in an airtight commercial wrapper in hot water until the desired consistency is reached, 2-3 minutes.For other cheese varieties, see American, añejo, asadero, bel paese, blue, brousse de brebis, cabrales, caciotta, cheddar, colby, cotija, Emmenthaler, farmer, feta, fontina, goat, Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola dolcelatte, gouda, gruyère, Jarlsberg, kasseri, Kefalotiri, manchego, mascarpone, Maytag, mizithra, Monterrey jack, mozzarella, panela, Parmesan, pecorino, provolone, queso fresco, ricotta, romano, roquefort, Stilton, Swiss, and taleggio cheeses.