Seltzer is the key ingredient for achieving New York Deli-style cream cheese.
Seltzer is a carbonated water that has been around for centuries. It is a popular drink in many parts of the world, and it is also used in cooking and baking. One of the most interesting uses of seltzer is in making New York Deli-style cream cheese. This type of cream cheese is known for its light and fluffy texture, and it is a staple in many delis and bagel shops in New York City. In this article, we will explore the history of seltzer, the science behind its use in cream cheese, and how you can make your own New York Deli-style cream cheese at home.
History of Seltzer
Seltzer water was first discovered in the 18th century by a German-Swiss chemist named Johann Jacob Schweppe. He developed a process for carbonating water, which he called “aerated water.” This process involved adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure, which created bubbles and made the water fizzy. Schweppe’s invention quickly became popular in Europe, and it was eventually brought to the United States in the early 19th century.
In the United States, seltzer water became a popular drink in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was often served in soda fountains and was a common ingredient in cocktails. Seltzer water was also used in cooking and baking, particularly in Jewish cuisine. In fact, seltzer water is a key ingredient in many traditional Jewish dishes, including matzo balls, gefilte fish, and challah bread.
Science of Seltzer
Seltzer water is made by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in water under pressure. When the pressure is released, the carbon dioxide comes out of solution and forms bubbles. These bubbles create the fizziness that is characteristic of seltzer water. The carbon dioxide also gives seltzer water a slightly acidic taste, which can help to balance the flavors in certain dishes.
When seltzer water is used in cooking and baking, the carbon dioxide bubbles can have a variety of effects. In some cases, the bubbles can help to leaven baked goods, making them lighter and fluffier. In other cases, the bubbles can help to create a light and airy texture in dishes like cream cheese.
New York Deli-style Cream Cheese
New York Deli-style cream cheese is a type of cream cheese that is known for its light and fluffy texture. It is made by whipping cream cheese with seltzer water, which creates a light and airy texture that is perfect for spreading on bagels or toast. This type of cream cheese is a staple in many delis and bagel shops in New York City, and it is a favorite of many New Yorkers.
To make New York Deli-style cream cheese, you will need:
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1/4 cup seltzer water
– 1/4 tsp salt
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy.
2. Add the seltzer water and salt to the bowl, and beat the mixture on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy.
3. Transfer the cream cheese to a container with a lid, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, or until it is firm.
4. Serve the cream cheese on bagels, toast, or crackers.
You can customize your New York Deli-style cream cheese by adding different flavors and ingredients. Here are a few ideas:
– Everything Bagel Cream Cheese: Add 1 tbsp of everything bagel seasoning to the cream cheese mixture.
– Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese: Add 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, or chives) to the cream cheese mixture.
– Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese: Add 2 oz of smoked salmon, finely chopped, to the cream cheese mixture.
Seltzer water is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways. One of its most interesting uses is in making New York Deli-style cream cheese. This type of cream cheese is known for its light and fluffy texture, and it is a staple in many delis and bagel shops in New York City. By whipping cream cheese with seltzer water, you can create a delicious and unique spread that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or snack time. So why not give it a try and see what all the fuss is about?