I love cream cheese. I use it on my bagels, my potatoes and in a lot of my recipes. That includes my own special version of tomato soup.
When it comes to cream cheese, Philadelphia Cream Cheese tops the list. However, it can be expensive at about $2 a pop for the 8-oz size.
Therefore, I have experimented with other cream cheese choices and have found that the Food Lion brand stands up very well. I use it now instead of the more expensive version.
Food Lion Cream Cheese is pasteurized. It also comes in an 8-oz package, which is 227 grams.
There are 8 servings of cheese in each package. Each serving is 1-oz and carries 100 calories. Unfortunately most of those calories – – 80 to be exact – – stem from fat.
There are 9 grams of fat in Food Lion Cream Cheese. Of that amount, 6 grams comes from saturated fat. There is no trans fat in this cheese.
Food Lion Cream Cheese also carries 2 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of sugar, 105 milligrams of sodium and 30 milligrams of cholesterol. On a positive note, it also offers 2 grams of protein, 4% of the daily-recommended amount of vitamin A and 2% of the required calcium.
Ingredients include cheese culture, pasteurized cream and milk and salt. They also include carob bean, guar or xanthan gum as stabilizers.
Since Food Lion Cream Cheese is made with cheese, cream and milk it is not an advisable product for those who are lactose intolerant. The possible bean content may also be a factor for some individuals.
To make a quick and easy, but utterly delicious tomato soup you will need 3 cans of Campbell’s Tomato Bisque, Â½ package (or 4 oz) of Food Lion Cream Cheese, Â½ cup of heavy cream or half-and-half, 1 small onion and 1 tbsp. of chives or parsley flakes.
Dump the cans of tomato bisque into a large saucepan and add about 1 can of water. Turn the heat to medium and heat the soup through.
In the meantime, dice the onion into very small bits. Then blend it into a thick paste in a food processor. Into to the onion put small chunks of the cream cheese. Pour the cream or half-and-half on top of that. Blend together thoroughly.
Pour the mixture from the food processor into the soup and mix thoroughly. Add in the chives or parsley flakes and heat through. Voila, you have a delicious tomato soup fit for a king or queen.
Serve with a splash of cream on top and some fresh parsley. Add crackers for those who like them to complete this wonderful soup dish.
I actually think Food Lion Cream Cheese is as good as Philadelphia’s. At two-thirds the cost, that also makes it a real bargain. Here is my summary review:
Taste: 5 stars. Food Lion Cream Cheese tastes just like Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It’s good!
Appearance: 5 Stars. This cheese is thick and creamy. It is beautiful to look at and it works in most recipes.
Freshness: 5 stars. Food Lion is conscious of the fact that cream cheese won’t last forever. They post a use by date on every package and pull expired product from the shelves.
Nutrition: 4 stars. Cream cheese does contain a moderate amount of fat. While it is moderate in carbs, sugars, salt and cholesterol, those watching the intake of those items may want to make note of that content. On the flip side, this cheese does provide some protein as well as vitamin A and calcium.
Green value: 5 stars. Food Lion Cream Cheese packaging is biodegradable.
Packaging: 5 stars. The product is packaged in a plain white box with navy trim. It isn’t anything special; however, it is still easy to identify in the refrigerator case at the grocery store. Food Lion doesn’t splurge on the packaging in order to reduce the cost of the product itself.
Ease of storage: 5 stars. The box measures 4.5″ in length by about 2.75″ in width by just over 1″ in depth. It is roughly the same size packaging as Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It stores easy in the fridge.
Availability: 2 stars. Food Lion products are only sold at Food Lion Stores and their affiliates. Therefore, if there isn’t one of those stores in the area, the product wouldn’t be easy to find.
Price: 5 stars. Food Lion Cream Cheese retails for $1.50 per box but is also run on special from time to time; as low as $1 per package.
Product purchase probability: 5 star. This is my cream cheese of choice when I can’t afford Philadelphia.
Final rating: 4.6 stars. This is an acceptable alternative to Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
5 stars = outstanding
4 stars = good
3 stars = average
2 stars = below average
1 star = poor