Curiosity Evolve & Grow

Cream cheese.

Cream cheese: condiment or cheese? What do you think?

I’m keeping it light again today.

Here’s the question: is cream cheese a condiment or a cheese?

Now the background… I had a discussion with a friend not too long ago. He was telling me he made a sandwich with mayo, mustard, cream cheese and so forth. I (being a non-fan of excessive condiments) exclaimed, what the heck?!!? That’s 3 condiments! He countered that cream cheese is not a condiment it’s a cheese. I countered that cream cheese is most definitely a condiment, you spread it.

So… who’s right!?!?

If I were my own best friend and I wanted to spend time on something that will not have a great impact on making the world better but might be interesting nonetheless, I would tell myself to do a little research about cream cheese. Condiment or cheese? You decide.

Condiment: something used to enhance the flavor of food

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Interesting… my definition of condiment was a bit too narrow. I only thought of condiments as spreadable, squeezable, add-able things to food. A condiment is actually much much more!

Synonyms of condiment:

sauce, flavoring, seasoning, spice, herb

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Do you see that word sauce? It’s a synonym to condiment! I’m not sure cream cheese is really a sauce but it’s similar in its spread-ability. Cream cheese also has a unique flavor so that second synonym (flavoring) might work too.

Cream cheese: a mild soft unripened cheese made from whole sweet milk enriched with cream

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Well… the definition of cream cheese says nothing about it being a condiment. It does however specify it as a type of cheese. (But I’m not giving up yet!)

On Wikipedia there’s a list of condiments that includes both Cream and Cheese, but not Cream Cheese specifically. http://Wikipedia Condiments (I am not suggesting that Wikipedia is the end-all for research, simply an interesting data point in the debate.)

Of further note, when I typed in “Is cream cheese a condiment or a cheese?” there were 225,000,000 results. This is not a new debate. And there are VERY strong opinions on both sides.

Culinary Debates wrote an entire article about cheese not being a condiment. However, there is a section specific to cream cheese in which they state cream cheese is a spreadable food that can be used in recipes or as a condiment.

Foods Guy suggests cream cheese is a condiment if it’s not accompanying any other dish. However if it’s used in something like cheesecake (as an ingredient) than it is not a condiment.

I could keep going but I’ll leave you with this. Is cream cheese a condiment or cheese? I’m not as certain as I was before about it being a condiment. And that is the beautiful thing about today. I learned something new. I stretched my mind. And anytime – anytime! – we do that we end up better for it. Keep your minds nimble my friends. And let me know what you think – cheese or condiment?

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