Can Cheese Combat Climate Change?

The threat of climate change loomed large above Vermont’s 2022 Cheese Summit. I was invited to the event to taste and learn about local cheeses, made by the state’s eclectic roster of producers—and I did so, gladly. But as the weekend wore on, it becam…

The threat of climate change loomed large above Vermont’s 2022 Cheese Summit. I was invited to the event to taste and learn about local cheeses, made by the state’s eclectic roster of producers—and I did so, gladly. But as the weekend wore on, it became increasingly clear that, despite the event’s hyper-local focus, Vermont’s cheese producers are tackling a far bigger question: What will cheesemaking look like in a warming world? According to them, dairy just might be the thing that saves us all.

Thanks to their methane-rich belches, cattle are the largest producers of agricultural greenhouse gasses on the planet. Almost half of the land in the United States is used for livestock, and overgrazing of these areas leads to poor soil quality and decreased biodiversity. Meanwhile, the dairy industry has consolidated, replacing smaller farms and producers with corporate mega-farms. As organizations like Milk With Dignity and projects like Milked: Immigrant Dairy Farmworkers in NY State have documented, these systemic changes combined with falling milk prices have led to increasingly poor, unsafe, and hazardous conditions for farmworkers—especially those facing undocumented status.

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Making Paneer at Home Is Totally Doable, Promise

Considering that India is one of the largest milk producing countries in the world, it is rather surprising that it doesn’t have a major cheese-making culture. You won’t find stinky and moldy cheeses in the shops that line India’s busy, narrow streets …

Considering that India is one of the largest milk producing countries in the world, it is rather surprising that it doesn't have a major cheese-making culture. You won't find stinky and moldy cheeses in the shops that line India's busy, narrow streets —but almost every dairy shop carries paneer, an immensely popular fresh cheese. 

Paneer is such a dominant culinary symbol in India because, unlike other cheeses, it doesn’t require animal rennet. This makes it perfect for the predominantly vegetarian Indian diet. Paneer makes a great meat substitute in most Indian recipes, but even non-vegetarians like myself love it. From sweets, to fried snacks, to cream-drunk royal curries, paneer is used in North Indian dishes extensively. Its mild taste, texture (similar to that of halloumi or tofu), and capability to soak in flavors and withstand high cooking temperatures make it a household favorite. 

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What’s the Difference Between Heavy Cream & Whipping Cream?

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t really matter if there is a difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream. They’re both delicious dairy products that are the crucial elements behind some of our favorite recipes like whipped cream (duh), panna co…

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t really matter if there is a difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream. They’re both delicious dairy products that are the crucial elements behind some of our favorite recipes like whipped cream (duh), panna cotta, ice cream, crème brûlée pie...should I go on? But I understand that it can be confusing to decipher which one is right for your recipe, so I’m sharing what to know about these creamy ingredients.

Heavy Cream vs. Heavy Whipping Cream

Surprise! There is no difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream. They are the exact same product, just sold by different brands under two different names. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), heavy cream must contain at least 36 percent milk fat. It is pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized, and may be homogenized. The same can be said for any carton called heavy whipping cream. Again, different name, same rule. You can use them interchangeably, so my recommendation is to just look for which one is a better deal in grocery stores.

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So, You’re Pregnant—Here’s What’s Safe to Eat & Drink

You’re pregnant, congrats! What a wild, joyful, cosmic, overwhelming, incredible, uncertain, life-altering experience pregnancy and motherhood can be. When you’re pregnant, there’s enough to think about without wondering about what’s safe to eat, yet…


You’re pregnant, congrats! What a wild, joyful, cosmic, overwhelming, incredible, uncertain, life-altering experience pregnancy and motherhood can be. When you're pregnant, there's enough to think about without wondering about what's safe to eat, yet here we are.

Fact is, whether you’re pregnant or not, essentially all food can pose some kind of risk, from E. coli–tainted leafy greens to accidentally undercooked meat. With this in mind, it’s best to take a balanced approach to risk and benefit when choosing ingredients for pregnancy-safe recipes—maximizing taste, nutrition, and variety.

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How to Make Long-Lasting Whipped Cream

Don’t weep, whipped cream, it’s all going to be alright. Sure, you have a tendency to lose your spine as you sit out for a while (you fall, you run, and, no offense, you become a little unappetizing), but we’re about to fix that.

Chin up! There are lo…

Don't weep, whipped cream, it's all going to be alright. Sure, you have a tendency to lose your spine as you sit out for a while (you fall, you run, and, no offense, you become a little unappetizing), but we're about to fix that.

Chin up! There are lots of ways to make longer-lasting, more stable whipped cream that won't have a breakdown as it graces chocolate cake, strawberry ice, rhubarb buckle, or a pile of vegetables (yes, you read that right). That means more opportunity to prep in advance and less of an urge to rush through dinner to get to that cream-topped lemon custard pie (though, let's be real, I do that no matter what).

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Making Crème Fraîche at Home Has Never Been Easier

A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn’t prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that la…

A few months into my first year in college, I realized that I hadn't prepared for such brokeness. In an attempt to pull myself out of college poverty, I applied for a waitressing job at a local brewpub. Aside from some insignificant retail jobs that lasted maybe a few weeks, I had no relevant work experience. So when it came time for my interview, I did what I seem to do best: I winged it. I spoke about everything that wasn't relevanthow pretty the detailing on the general manager's shirt was, how nicely designed the restaurant was (it had a hideous interior), how challenging school was, etc.

Eventually I had to face the music and come clean, admitting to having no experience, but really, really needing money. The general manager was visibly bummed; she genuinely wanted to hire me, but how could she at this point? She looked down at my application and said, "Well, okay, so you have no experience. I can teach you how to juggle tables. I care more about people who know and like food. Can you answer this: What is crème fraîche?" My eyes lit up immediately.

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The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Cooking & Baking

If you asked me what I dream about at night, the answer would be heavy cream in all its silky, creamy glory. Heavy cream is responsible for chart-topping recipes like Our Best Vanilla Ice Cream, Stovetop Mac & Cheese With Garlic Powder & White …

If you asked me what I dream about at night, the answer would be heavy cream in all its silky, creamy glory. Heavy cream is responsible for chart-topping recipes like Our Best Vanilla Ice Cream, Stovetop Mac & Cheese With Garlic Powder & White Pepper, Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, and Warm Eggnog. If creamy comfort food is my dream, then running out of heavy cream is my nightmare. Few things hurt my soul more than pouring a generous amount of heavy cream into freshly mashed spuds only to find that there’s a drop or two left of the cream. What’s a girl to do? Cry. Panic. Call my mom. Or maybe do three minutes of breathwork and then open my refrigerator or pantry again to search for a substitute for heavy cream.

Alternatives for heavy cream may be another kind of dairy product or they may be vegan. There are thousands of recipes on our site that call for heavy cream, like penne alla vodka and creamed greens and frozen honey mousse. But do you actually need the cream? Can you replace it with milk? Or coconut milk? Or something else entirely? Today, we’re going to answer those questions and more. Ahead, find the best heavy cream substitutes that work every time...no tears necessary (but I’m still going to call my mom).

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Wait, Are Eggs Dairy?

Whether eggs are dairy almost seems like a nonissue at first thought. Eggs and dairy products have such few similarities and perform such different functions in recipes that it sounds nonsensical to conflate the two. Dairy is what gives ingredients lik…

Whether eggs are dairy almost seems like a nonissue at first thought. Eggs and dairy products have such few similarities and perform such different functions in recipes that it sounds nonsensical to conflate the two. Dairy is what gives ingredients like milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt a delicate, creamy sweetness that coats your mouth. Eggs are the protein-filled wunderkind of the kitchen that supplements our breakfast plates, binds together our baked goods, thickens custards, and whips up into cloudlike meringues, along with a bevy other culinary applications. Eggs are eggs; dairy is dairy. Simple as that, right?

But as any anxious person will tell you, nothing is ever that simple. Maybe you start to notice how close eggs and dairy are kept in the supermarket—it is only called the “dairy” aisle after all. So wait…are eggs dairy?

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How to Soften Cream Cheese (& Bake Your Heart Out With It)

Ah, cream cheese. We know it, we love it, it’s our old standby bagel topping. But this tangy spread is so much more than a schmear. Cream cheese is a rich dairy product that makes an amazing addition to pastries, pastas, and more, adding a smooth, rich…

Ah, cream cheese. We know it, we love it, it's our old standby bagel topping. But this tangy spread is so much more than a schmear. Cream cheese is a rich dairy product that makes an amazing addition to pastries, pastas, and more, adding a smooth, rich quality to everything it touches. But it can be tricky to work with when cold: it sticks to itself, clumping together, and nobody wants lumpy frosting, am I right? For this reason, when it comes to working the stuff into recipes, especially desserts, most recipes call for softened cream cheese. Once it comes to room temperature, cream cheese can properly incorporate into a batter or emulsify a frosting.

How to Soften Cream Cheese in the Microwave

Since cream cheese has such a high fat content, it doesn’t take long to come to room temperature if the room is relatively warm. It takes about thirty minutes on the counter to soften significantly, and about an hour to fully come to room temperature (again, depending on the temperature outside and in your kitchen). But if you’re strapped for time, or have a sudden craving for cheesecake, you can cut that time down to seconds. Remove any packaging (especially foil!) and place the block of cream cheese on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, then poke the center of the cream cheese block to test the texture. If it’s still not your desired softness, continue microwaving in 10-second intervals, but err on the side of caution. A little firmer is better than melted, which will be hard to salvage and potentially unusable in a recipe. The cream cheese should feel soft and hold a fingerprint when pressed.

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Mascarpone Cheese Has a Life Outside of Tiramisu

You probably know mascarpone cheese as a key player in tiramisu, the chocolatey, espresso-infused layered Italian dessert. But it’s so much more than that. Make extra creamy scrambled eggs by folding mascarpone cheese into the mix or spread it on a pie…

You probably know mascarpone cheese as a key player in tiramisu, the chocolatey, espresso-infused layered Italian dessert. But it’s so much more than that. Make extra creamy scrambled eggs by folding mascarpone cheese into the mix or spread it on a piece of toast and top it with smoked salmon and chives.

But what exactly is mascarpone cheese? And how is it different from sour cream, cream cheese, or crème fraîche…or is it? Mascarpone is essentially an Italian version of cream cheese, though with a slightly higher fat content; mascarpone must have 40 percent fat, while cream cheese only needs to have 33 percent. Cream cheese is also tangier than mascarpone, which tends toward the richer side of things. In fact, mascarpone most closely resembles French crème fraîche. Both are soured by lactic culture, but mascarpone is a little sweeter and milder. That’s why it’s so prominent in sweet desserts; while sour cream, for example, can certainly add body and richness to cheesecake, coffee cake, and pound cake, it isn’t exactly a flavor most home bakers put front and center (the exception being this wildly delicious Peach & Sour Cream Ice Cream from Alice Medrich).

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