Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting, white cheese that contains at least 33% milk fat with a moisture content of not more than 55%.  It is sold in brick form or in a small, tub-like container. Variety brands add such additional seasonings as garlic, dill, and olives. Cream cheese differs from other cheese in that it is not allowed time to mature and is meant to be consumed fresh. It is a primary ingredient in cheesecake and other desserts, and is often spread on bagels and eaten with lox (smoked salmon). On bagels, cream cheese is sometimes referred to by the Yiddish word schmear.
According to food manufacturer Kraft Foods, "Cream cheese originated in the United States in 1872 when a dairyman in Chester, New York, developed a 'richer cheese than ever before,' made from cream as well as whole milk." A. L. Reynolds, first began distributing cream cheese wrapped in tin-foil wrappers, calling it Philadelphia Brand. In some places, including parts of Spain, cream cheese is called simply "Philadelphia", and in places in Latin America, including Argentina and Chile, it is called "Queso Philadelphia", or "Philadelphia Cheese".
In many European countries, Cream cheese is eaten as a cheese, rather than a spread, and is served on cheese trays. For example, in Italy, chunks of cream cheese are served in fresh salads. Japanese consumers put cream cheese on crusty bread. Cream cheese bars, originally invented in Russia, have made their way into the United States in recent years.
Cream cheese is used in many recipes.