Experimenting with mascarpone
(There’s an update to this post at the bottom.)
In Italy you’ll always see mascarpone available in the refrigerated section near dairy.
I never really knew what this was used for until recently. My curiosity was perked.
Prior to buying it, a Google search told me that it was like cream cheese, and I thought “Oh OK! Yum. I’ll try that! I like cream cheese.”
But when I came home with it and tried it… cream cheese… it didn’t taste like cream cheese at all.
It doesn’t have the tang that cream cheese has. Or the heft.
Lost in Translation
Well, maybe they meant a creamy-type cheese–and not the cream cheese lyou put on bagels. I don’t recall now, but I’ll admit maybe it’s my error in that respect. But still… it does not resemble cheese to me, of any kind.
So I did more research and learned that it’s also considered like triple cream. Oh, this is more like it. If I had never spent time in the UK I might not even know what that meant.
Because in the UK you can buy “double cream” which is a most ultra heavy cream. It pours out of the container slow, almost like molasses. Almost.
Mascarpone, in this light, makes more sense to me.
Yes. It’s like super thick, like spreadable cream. Heftier than even double cream, as the description of triple-cream implies. It comes in a tub, mascarpone, like a step shy of butter.
I learned that you can put it on vegetables and bake with it, add it to soups, make desserts– all kinds of things.
Basically, it adds delectable creaminess to your recipe.
So, of course, I tried it in my coffee. It works! Just like cream or butter, though I had to whisk it, as if it were butter.
But look at that frothiness!
After that, I added mascarpone to soup. Nice.
Some people say it’s divine with honey drizzled over it. I can see that.
Another day, I made tuna salad with it, like a mayo replacement. It was perfect for that!
So there you go. Mascarpone.
Update: So today I’m on a walk with my Italian girlfriend. She mentions that she saw this blog post of mine and says, “Kristen… mascarpone is for tiramisu. You know tiramisu?”
I facepalmed myself. OMG. Duh. Yes. One of my favorite desserts which I haven’t had in far too long.