Difference Between Neufchâtel and Cream Cheese

Neufchatel cheese and cream cheese are often used interchangeably and as alternatives. So is cream cheese the American equivalent of Neufchatel cheese?

They share certain characteristics, but they also vary in other areas, including origin, ingredients, texture, taste, and nutritional content.

Neufchâtel Cheese vs Cream Cheese Differences

Let’s look at the intriguing characteristics of these two types of cheese and see how they compare.

They Have Different Origins

Neufchtel cheese is named after the northern Normandy village of Neufchtel-en-Bray. It is one of France’s oldest cheeses, dating back to 1035.

According to folklore, during the Hundred Years War, farm girls from Neufchtel-en-Bray who fell in love with English troops produced this heart-shaped cheese as a tribute of their devotion.

A dairyman called William Lawrence created cream cheese in the late 1800s in New York. He bought a cheese factory to manufacture an American version of French cheese, and he achieved it by including cream into the formula. The Philadelphia Cream Cheese cheese quickly gained popularity and became a culinary staple.

They Have Different Ingredients

Raw cow’s milk, also known as unpasteurized cow’s milk, is used to make French Neufchtel cheese. When ripe, the cheese develops in six to eight weeks and has a delicate, edible rind.

Cream and pasteurized and unskimmed milk are used to make regular cream cheese. Cream cheese has a creamier, richer texture and includes lactic acid to prevent breaking. It needs no maturation time but has a limited shelf life once opened.

They Taste Slightly Different

The flavors of Neufchatel and cream cheese are similar, but Neufchatel tastes more like mushrooms with undertones of almonds and yeast.

The longer French Neufchtel is aged, the more tangy it tastes.

Cream cheese, on the other hand, does not ripen, is eaten fresh, and has a sweeter flavor. It is often seasoned with black pepper, various fruits, herbs, and garlic.

They Are Used in Different Ways

Both types of cheese are enjoyed in the same manner since they have similar taste and texture. The primary distinction is that cream cheese may be used as a dessert element, such as cheesecake, or as a thickening factor in sauces and soups.

These are ideal toppings for puff pastry, crackers, polenta cakes, bagels, and toast because to their creamy textures.

Cream Cheese vs Neufchâtel Comparison Table

Key Differences Neufchâtel Cheese Cream Cheese
Origin Neufchâtel-en-Bray, France New York City, USA
Ingredients Raw cow’s milk Pasteurized milk and cream
Production Matures for 6 to 10 weeks Consumed fresh
Texture Soft and light Dry and dense
Taste Mushroomy and tangy Sweet and tangy
Nutritional content Fat: 23 gr
Moisture: 55 — 65%
Protein: 2.8 gr
Fat: 34 gr
Moisture: less than 55%
Protein: 2.1 gr
Calories per 100ml 215 calories 298 calories
Uses As a spread As a spread and as an ingredient in desserts, soups, and sauces

Which One is Healthier?

Neufchatel cheese has around 19.4 g of milk fat and 215 calories. Because of its low fat level, the cheese is a good choice for people looking to minimize their fat consumption.

Moreover, Neufchatel cheese has 7.78 g of protein, making it ideal for people looking to increase their protein intake.

Cream cheese is more caloric and has a greater fat content than Neufchatel cheese. It provides 298 calories and 29.3 g of milk fat. Considering its high milk fat content, cream cheese only has 5.23 g of protein.

Let’s compare the nutritional composition of these two cheeses to obtain a better understanding of their differences.

85 g Neufchatel Cheese 85 g Cream Cheese
215 calories
53.6 g water 
7.78 g protein
19.4 g fat 
1.24 g carbohydrate
3.05 g fiber
2.71 g sugar
99.4 mg calcium 
8.5 mg magnesium 
117 mg phosphorus 
129 mg potassium  
284 mg sodium
11.9 µg folate 
205 µg vitamin A
298 calories
44.7 g water
5.23 g protein
29.3 g fat
4.69 g carbohydrate
0 g fiber
3.2 g sugar
82.4 mg calcium
7.65 mg magnesium
91 mg phosphorus
112 mg potassium
267 mg sodium
7.65 µg folate
262 µg vitamin A

In Conclusion

Neufchtel, which dates back to the tenth century, is one of France’s oldest cheeses. It is often formed like a heart and prepared with raw cow’s milk.

Cream cheese was created in the United States when William Lawrence modified the recipe by substituting pasteurized milk for raw milk and adding cream.

Don’t know which one to pick? Neufchtel is a great option for those looking for a softer cheese with a deeper, tangier taste. It’s also healthier since it’s lower in fat, lower in calories, and higher in protein.

Cream cheese, on the other hand, is for individuals who want a firmer texture and a sweeter flavor. You may also use it in sweets, soups, and sauces.

In any event, it is not incorrect to say that cream cheese is the American counterpart of Neufchtel. They are completely interchangeable in most recipes, but the fundamental differences, although subtle, are as noticeable as day Neufchtel is coated with rind and has a tangier fragrance and lighter texture. Cream cheese is sweeter, denser, and has no rind.

Trying both is, of course, the greatest way to comprehend their differences! It’s cliche to say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the cliché holds true in this situation.


Is Neufchatel cream cheese the same as regular cream cheese?

Whereas cream cheese has 33% milk fat, Neufchatel contains just 23% milk fat and has a little greater moisture content. Notwithstanding this distinction, Neufchatel may be used in practically every recipe that calls for conventional cream cheese.

Can you use Neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese?

Cream cheese may be replaced with Neufchatel.

Neufchatel has a creamy, spreadable texture that might be somewhat grainy. The dish will be less rich because to the decreased fat level, but it is an excellent substitution. When baking, this is usually your best bet.

Is Neufchatel cheese better than cream cheese?

Don’t know which one to go with? Neufchâtel is a great option for those looking for a softer cheese with a deeper, tangier taste. It’s also more nutritious since it has less fat, fewer calories, and more protein. Cream cheese, on the other hand, is for individuals who want a firmer texture and a sweeter flavor.

Does Neufchatel cheese taste like?

The paste of artisanal Neufchatel is gritty, tightly grained, and thick, with a delicate, downy, velvety bloomy rind. At 8-10 weeks of maturation, the flavor and texture are reminiscent of Camembert; mushroomy, creamy, nutty, and slightly yeasty.

What are the benefits of Neufchatel cheese?

Neufchâtel is a soft, spreadable cheese from Neufchâtel, France. It has less fat and calories than cream cheese but is still a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and protein ( 9 ).

How do I substitute Neufchatel for cream cheese?

Ordinary cream cheese may be used in place of Neufchatel cheese in recipes, notably dips and spreads, with satisfactory results. Cooked items may have a somewhat different texture.

What is the best cream cheese for baking?

Cream cheese products recommended by the Test Kitchen
Philly Original Tangiest. A Taste of Home…
Dutch Farms Original has the mildest taste. A Taste of Home…
Prairie Farms is the best for no-bake sweets. A Taste of Home…
Budget-friendly brand: Excellent value. Homestyle cooking.

Does low-fat cream cheese taste the same as regular cream cheese?

Cream cheese (3 less fat) tastes nice and may be used in dishes or on bagels. Fat-free cream cheese just does not taste as delicious as regular cream cheese and has a distinct texture. Nevertheless, mild cream cheese and Neufchatel (1%)

Which cheese is the most creamy?

Mascarpone. Mascarpone is a soft, thick cheese with a high fat content. It may be used in both sweet and savory meals because of its smooth, creamy to buttery texture and taste.

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