Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting, white cheese that contains at least 33% milkfat (as marketed). 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, as in the phrase "a bagel with a schmear".
According to food manufacturer Kraft, "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. Then in 1880, a New York cheese distributor, A. L. Reynolds, first began distributing cream cheese wrapped in tin-foil wrappers, calling it Philadelphia Brand. The name 'Philadelphia Brand cream cheese' was adopted by Reynolds for the product because at that time, top-quality food products often originated in or were associated with the city, and were often referred to as being "Philadelphia quality." 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".