Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: Best cream cheese not always home grown

Kraft Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese 250g — $4.15
and Tararua Traditional Cream Cheese 250g — $4.49

Kraft Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese $4.15/250g. Tararua Traditional Cream Cheese. $4.49/250g.
Kraft Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese $4.15/250g. Tararua Traditional Cream Cheese. $4.49/250g.

Cream cheese is a great alternative to butter on toast, especially if you are teaming it with salmon or my latest food craze, sliced fresh strawberries.

It has less fat than butter and provides a different taste.

When choosing cream cheese recently in the supermarket, I kept away from the product with the American name, thinking it would be full of unnecessary additives. I was surprised to see it was the Kiwi cream cheese I needed to be wary of.


Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Milk - This is an essential ingredient of any cheese.

Cream - Used to make this cheese a cream cheese.

Salt - For flavour and for preserving.

Vegetable gum (410) - This is locust bean gum (410) which will be in here as a stabiliser.

Starter culture - This is essential to making any cheese and will usually be in the form of bacteria which gives the cheese its distinctive flavour. If I was to make this at home a starter culture such as yoghurt would be introduced.

Tararua Cream Cheese

Cream - As above, except in this cheese the cream content is higher than the Philadelphia one.

Milk solids - These are the solids left in milk when water is removed. These are possibly in here to fill out the cheese.

Milk - As above.

Salt - As above.

Acidity regulator (270) - This is lactic acid (270) which occurs naturally in milk. Not sure why they have added extra.

Emulsifiers (450,452,451,339) - These are diphosphates (450, 452, 451) and sodium phosphate (339) which are in here to prevent oil and water separating.

Thickener (401) - This is sodium alginate (401) which will be in here to keep the cheese thick.

Flavour - This will be an artificial flavour and I can only presume it is here to help it taste like a genuine cream cheese.

My recommendations

The Philadelphia cream cheese (which is made in Australia) is a real cheese.

It has a starter culture and does not need the addition of emulsifiers and artificial flavour.

The Tararua cheese has no culture, so in my opinion is not technically a cheese.

It is a mixture of milk, cream and additives designed to make it taste like cream cheese.

If I was to make this at home I would use milk, rennet, yoghurt and salt which is much closer to the Philadelphia cream cheese ingredients.

I personally think the Philadelphia tastes better too.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 05 Oct 2015 00:30:29 Processing Time: 390ms