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"The Days Had Come of Curds and Cream": The Origins and Development of Cream Cheese in America, 1870–1880

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Abstract:

This paper explores the earliest production of cream cheese by postcolonial Philadelphia farm families. It examines how changes in American cuisine and demographics produced the demand for "fancy" cheeses in the late nineteenth century. It shows how mechanization transformed the dairy industry as it moved from its pastoral period into the Industrial Age. This paper also traces how these changes resulted in large-scale cream cheese manufacturing efforts in the late 1870s. Finally, the critical role played by William A. Lawrence, a Chester, NY farmer, who was the first manufacturer of cream cheese in America, is also detailed.

Keywords: CHARLES GREEN; CREAM CHEESE; DAIRY; MECHANIZATION; NEUFCHATEL; PHILADELPHIA; WILLIAM LAWRENCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174412X13233545145426

Publication date: June 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research is an international, peer-reviewed publication dedicated to exploring the complex relationships among food, culture, and society from numerous disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as in the world of food beyond the academic.

    It brings to bear the highest standards of research and scholarship on all aspects of food studies and encourages vigorous debate on a wide range of topics, such as: cross-cultural perspectives on eating behaviors; gender and the food system; recipes, cookbooks, and menu as texts; philosophical and religious perspectives on food and the body; social construction of culinary practices, beliefs, and traditions; politics of the family meal; dietary transitions; psychological, cultural, and social determinants of taste; methodological issues in the food studies; malnutrition, hunger, and food security; commodity chain and foodshed analysis; food in fiction, film, and art; comparative food history; social and cultural dimensions of food technologies; political economy of the global food system; food studies pedagogy.

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