As far as I can tell, the "cream cheese" in UK supermarkets isn't much at all like the foil-wrapped cream cheese blocks I remember from my youth in the U.S. (not even the ones sold under the Philadelphia label). The UK cream cheese is more of a spread, definitely seems much more processed, different texture, and different — though similar — taste.

I have several reasons for wanting it: Baking a cheesecake, a couple of other recipes² that use it, and I frankly just prefer it.

Other than from absurdly-expensive¹ American import boutique shops, is it possible to get U.S.-style cream cheese in the UK? Some other term for it or...?

¹ (along the lines of £24 for 1.3 kg)

² ("recipe" may be a bit over-the-top for one of them: taking the block, dumping salsa over it, and eating it with tortilla chips)

  • If this fails the "every answer is equally valid" test, apologies in advance and I'll understand it being closed. I could see it either way, so... Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 17:28
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    As a born-&-raised Brit... Philly cheese isn't what it used to be here, either - I'm sure it had more 'zing' to it, and though I can't remember how it was packed when I was young, it wasn't in oval plastic tubs.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 17:35
  • @Tetsujin - Yeah, I'm sure it's sold that way in the U.S. now, too. Which seems a shame, the old way (foil wrapping inside a cardboard box) seems rather more sustainable than these plastic tubs, and I don't recall any issues with it. I suppose tampering would be less evident. sigh. Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 17:48
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    @T.J.Crowder I'm in the US and it's still sold here in foil wrapping inside the cardboard box. I have two in the fridge right now! I think the ones in the plastic tubs are the whipped varieties that are supposed to spead easier. (We have those, too.)
    – Cindy
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 20:03
  • @Cindy - The old fuddy duddy in me is very glad to hear that, thanks! :-) Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


The best way to 'get cream cheese' is to make cream cheese, fortunately it isn't difficult. Here is a great video detailing how you can make cream cheese yourself with whole milk (full-fat) milk and lemon juice. This will be very much like the Philadelphia brand cheese you are looking for.

  • I did wonder if this was where I was going to have to go. :-) That does look surprisingly easy, I'll have to give it a try. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 15:12

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