As a kid, I knew it as Philadelphia Cream Cheese. A white block that, in my mind, had but one purpose: to be served as a spread. We bought the stuff from time to time, and I’d take a knife to that block and carve out a chunk, easing it onto the one thing we got it for … a toasted bagel.
I’ve since learned that cream cheese has other applications. My wife, for instance, uses it in a few recipes. Still, when it’s all said and done, our house uses it for one reason above others, which is on bagels.
Not long ago, we tried out Trader Joe’s Everything Bagels. How can you try bagels, though, if you don’t get cream cheese to go with them? I looked around the store and saw TJ’s did carry blocks.
I decided to go with something easier.
Trader Joe’s Whipped Cream Cheese can be found in the store’s refrigerated section. At post time, the 8-ounce plastic carton costs $2.29, or around 29 cents an ounce. Trader Joe’s blocks were, as you would expect, less expensive, although not by a lot.
The spread has a fair amount of fat, including 4 grams of saturated fat. It also has modest quantities of sodium and cholesterol. There are just six ingredients, although some of those might be more processed than you prefer. Ingredients are pasteurized milk and cream, cheese culture, salt, guar gum, carob bean gum, and xanthan gum.
I expected two things out of this cheese. One, that it would be easily spreadable, so that it wasn’t such a chore getting it across a bagel. And two, that it would taste like I would expect cream cheese to taste.
It succeeded on both fronts. This spreads quite well, without any fuss. It’s smooth. It also tastes like I would expect cream cheese to taste, a flavor that complements without overwhelming what it’s paired with. The texture is a little different from block cheese, which is not a surprise, but not so much that it really impacts the experience.
As I’d hoped, it is a marvelous addition to a bagel. The spread goes on evenly and creates the complete experience.
Trader Joe’s Whipped Cream Cheese is a reasonably priced, easy-to-use, tasty spread for putting on bagels or anything else you might want to spread it on. We’re fans.