Tag Archives: cream cheese

Kraft Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese

Kraft Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese PackageWhen Kraft came out with two new Philadelphia Cream Cheese flavors last year, Spicy Jalapeño and Chipotle, I was over the moon. Not a fan of sweet cream cheese flavors and immensely bored with the other savory options, I was hoping they would be the answer to my prayers.

And they were! They were fabulous flavors, and I continue to consume them to this day. They’re pretty much the only cream cheese flavors that have graced my bagels since.

But now Philadelphia has a new savory flavor: Bacon. Which leads me to say something I never thought I’d say – I’m tired of bacon.

Please, put down your Internet weapons! And by that I mean, your comments. Listen, I love bacon. I will always love bacon. But you can’t just throw bacon into everything. I mean, you can, but that doesn’t mean you should. Bacon mints. Bacon gum. Devices that will turn bacon into a cup.

Okay, if somebody offered me a bacon cup, I can’t say I’d turn it down. But people are just baconing for the sake of bacon, these days. The Internet is beating a dead pig.

Of course, after all this bitching and moaning, here I am, reviewing bacon cream cheese. Does this qualify as bacon for the sake of bacon? Quite possibly. On the other hand, I am happy to see another savory flavor offering on the shelves. Hey, if it tastes good, it tastes good. I’m not going to complain just to sound too cool for bacon.

The package says this cream cheese is made with real bacon and shows tantalizing strips of bacon on it, but upon inspection of the ingredients, it contains, more specifically, “bacon bits”. While these still technically qualify as bacon, I was highly disappointed upon reading this.

Kraft Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese

My trepidation only grew as I opened the package. Ignore the yellow fluid – that just happens with cream cheese. What really got me was that there were no visible chunks of bacon; just little black flecks on the surface.

My first bite confirmed my fears and suspicions. The cream cheese had a very fake-tasting bacon flavor to it; if you’ve ever had a sour cream-based jarred bacon dip, it’s similar to that flavor. I attribute this to the liquid smoke used, presumably to “enhance” your flavor experience.

Kraft Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese Bacon Bits

The bacon bits are, well, bacon bits. Big enough that there’s a noticeable change in texture, but not big enough for your mouth to actually register it as bacon. Basically, just the right size for getting stuck in your teeth and being annoying.

Despite all this negativity, I continued to eat the stuff. Ugh, this always happens. I blame it on the cream cheese, which I love so very much. I’ll keep eating cream cheese even if whatever it’s flavored with is sub-par.

If I were to recommend this cream cheese at all, I’d recommend it more as a cracker dip than a bagel spread. That said, I can’t in good faith recommend it for anything. The cream cheese itself is so fakony in flavor, tasting mostly like liquid smoke and sadness, and the bacon bits are small and “real” only in the vaguest of terms.

I guess if you enjoy that faux-bacon flavor, then you’d enjoy Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese. For me, this was a disappointing addition to the savory Philadelphia line, and it will not be gracing my fridge shelves again. I’m sticking with my Spicy Jalapeño and Chipotle, which both taste like and contain said ingredients.

Kraft Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese

  • Score: 1 out of 5 bacon bits stuck in my teeth
  • Price: $2.49
  • Size: 8 oz. tub
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Food
  • Nutritional Quirks: “Rendered bacon fat” is listed as an ingredient, which sounds gross, but I wish I could taste rendered bacon fat in this.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese ContainersCream cheese is in the Gentleman’s Club of dairy products. While nearby shelves in the refrigerated section explode with 700 different brands and varieties of yogurt, cream cheese remains largely unchanged. For the most part, you’re going Kraft Philadelphia or you’re going generic, and even then, you’re probably not getting much variety from the generic brand.

I have a long-standing love of bagels, particularly when toasted and schmeared with what even I would admit is an embarrassing amount of cream cheese. There used to be a local mom ‘n’ pop bagel shop around the corner from where I live that I absolutely adored. The plethora of bagel flavors, the cream cheese selection…it was like a little breakfast heaven.

And then they went out of business.

Heartbroken and with nary an Einstein Bros. In sight, I turned my eye to the grocery store, and then I remembered why I love bagel shops so much. I can take the limited variety of bagel flavors in stores – I’ll make do with an Everything – but the cream cheese flavors suck.

I’ve never been fond of the fruity cream cheeses, and this really limits a girl. If you want savory, Philadelphia generally offers Salmon, Chive & Onion or Garden Vegetable, none of which I’ve found particularly exciting.

But then Philly pulled through for me.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese

First I found the Spicy Jalapeño flavor, and I did a happy snack dance right there in the dairy aisle. This has always been my absolute favorite flavor of cream cheese from bagel shops, and I always wondered, sometimes sadly, sometimes angrily, why this was never a flavor found in grocery stores.

I was seriously stoked. Like, way more than a person should be about cream cheese. But this was like a dream fulfilled. A wish granted. Cream cheese.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese

And I am so very glad to report that Spicy Jalapeño lived up to my every expectation. The texture of the cream cheese was classic Philly – thick but easily spreadable.

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Close-Up

They weren’t skimpy on the peppers, either; it was chock full of perfectly-sized chunks of real jalapeño that delivered on heat and flavor. It was great to bite into my toasted bagel and get the smooth cream cheese punctuated by crunchy little bits of heat. The cool cream cheese and the spicy peppers made a perfect combo.

Verdict: match made in heaven.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese

But oh, Kraft was not done with me yet. I was happily buying yet another tub of Spicy Jalapeño when I saw something I had neither dreamed of nor tasted before – Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese.

It probably goes without saying that the dance came out again.

I was a little more trepedatious about this one. Acutely aware that I sound like a broken record as I write this, I am constantly dissatisfied with things that claim to be chipotle-flavored. It seems like most companies think “chipotle” means “generically spicy” or, if you’re really lucky, “spicy with a little fake smoky flavor”.

Having already fallen in love with Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño, I thought I may have pushed my luck too far.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese

First of all, hello orange. I was not expecting that when I opened up the tub. It’s not exactly the most attractive hue for cream cheese; in fact, it reminded me of pumpkin, but maybe that’s just the fact that I can’t turn around in a grocery store without seeing something pumpkin spice-flavored.

The hue actually makes sense though; chipotle peppers are much softer than regular jalapeños, so they would blend much more easily into the cream cheese, leaving just small chunks.

Kraft Philadelphia Chipotle Cream Cheese Close-Up

I found it interesting that Philly Chipotle Cream Cheese is a lot thinner than your run-of-the-mill cream cheese. It’s not at all runny, it’s just smooth and easily spreadable, whereas, say, Spicy Jalapeño can be applied with some chunkiness.

In fact, it’s probably a good thing the Chipotle Cream Cheese was thinner, because it’s actually spicier than the Jalapeño variety. Whereas the spice bursts come with the pepper chunks in the latter, it seems more uniform in the former. My nose was even a little runny after I’d finished my bagel.

As for actually tasting like chipotle? Score. Spicy, smoky and flavorful, Philly Chipotle Cream Cheese actually managed to capture the true essence of chipotle peppers, while also letting the flavor of cream cheese come through.

Through sheer coincidence, somebody made a comment about these two cream cheeses on a review I did for The Impulsive Buy back in January for some Chipotle Crema Doritos. I’d forgotten I’d even mentioned it, but in the review, I mused that I should really try blending chipotles with cream cheese, because that sounded delicious.

It was destiny.

I think I sound like I’m writing a really long commercial for Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño and Chipotle Cream Cheeses, but the truth is that I love them both and will most likely keep them in stock in my fridge at all times. Nevermore do I have to hit a bagel shop just to get my spicy cream cheese fix; now I can just hit the dairy aisle of my local grocery store.

Now then, about those limited bagel flavors…

Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Chipotle Cream Cheese

  • Score (Spicy Jalapeño): 5 out of 5 cream cheese dreams fulfilled
  • Score (Chipotle): 5 out of 5 runny noses
  • Price: $2.79 each
  • Size: 8 oz. tub
  • Purchased at: Safeway #1717
  • Nutritional Quirks: Both flavors contain real peppers near the top of their ingredient lists, and it shows.