Farmer's Cheese - what is it? And what to do with it?

SamuelAt | Mar 11, 200905:28 PM     47

I love cheese. When I am in the store, forget the the cookies, cakes, and sweets. I am tempted by the cheese aisle. Recently I have really enjoyed Bel Paese - a creamy, soft Italian cheese that comes wrapped in individual servings in gold foil. I had always loved it, but last weekend I had friends over unexpectedly. When I served some wine, I wondered what hors d'ouvre I could offer. Then I remembered I had the Bel Paese! Served with some crackers, everyone loved it and thought it was great because they had their own little "wheel" of cheese.

I digress a little. After enjoying the Bel Paese, I started thinking about other soft creamy cheeses. I have also served Cream Cheese with assorted savory jams and salsas - chutney, salsa, carrot jam - and on a cracker it is addictive. So I decided to see what creamy cheeses were readily available at my local grocer (not my gourmet grocer). And? Right there by the cream cheese, ranch dip, and guacamole (?) was Friendship Brand "Farmer's Cheese". I figured since it was near the cream cheese it would be similar - if not the same. But as you may know, what it actually is is a mild cross between cream cheese and ricotta cheese, flavor and texture-wise.

I find it delicious and a good base for other flavors. I use it like I describe how I use cream cheese above - but I wonder. Farmer's Cheese sounds old fashioned. Is there a traditional way to enjoy or cook with this cheese? And if not, what do you do with it?

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