Can you eat mascarpone without cooking it?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,”Can you eat mascarpone without cooking it?” We will describe the taste of mascarpone and the differences between mascarpone and cream cheese. We will also discuss how to make mascarpone and some good substitutes.

Can you eat mascarpone without cooking it?

Yes, you can eat mascarpone raw just like any other cheese, just make sure that it has been made from pasteurized milk to prevent any food poisoning risks. Some people have it raw with some good wine or cognac. 

Mascarpone cheese or also known as Italian cream cheese is a type of Italian cheese that is made from heavy cream and either citric or tartaric acid.

It is regarded as one of the creamiest cheeses as it contains a high fat content of between 60 to 75%. It is made by heating cream and then adding tartaric acid or citric acid from lemon juice to the cream. 

This separates the curds from the whey, which can be separated by running through a cheesecloth to remove any excess liquid. 

The curds then need to be cooked some more until you get a smooth and creamy texture.

What Does Mascarpone Taste Like?

Mascarpone cheese has a taste that compares with crème Fraiche, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and also clotted cream. The flavor can be described to be a bit nutty with a mildly sweet taste. It has just about the right acidity and is actually less tangy than other comparable cheeses such as American cream cheese and ricotta.

What is the Difference Between Mascarpone and Cream Cheese?

Both mascarpone and cream cheese are very similar in both applications and look. However cream cheese, especially American style, is firmer and also brighter than mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone usually has more spreadability, has a velvety texture and a rich mouthfeel. Mascarpone also contains very high butter fat as earlier mentioned of about 75 % compared to American cream cheese which contains about 55% of butterfat.

How do you make Mascarpone?

To make mascarpone you will require the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • About 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Here the step-by-step procedure:

Step 1: Heat the heavy cream

Heat your heavy cream and bring it to a low simmer, you can use a small saucepan. Ensure that you stir or whip constantly to avoid any scorching.

Step 2: Add in your lemon juice

Remove the heavy cream from the heat source and add just half of the lemon juice. Give it a gentle stir with a metal spoon. Take care not to whisk as this will dissolve the curds that you require to coagulate out. At this point, the heavy cream should start showing signs of coagulating and thickening.

Step 3: Cool

First add the remaining lemon juice and give it a gentle stir. Let the pan cool entirely and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4:Strain the liquid out

After refrigerating overnight, transfer the cream to a cheesecloth strainer and squeeze out any excess liquid out of the cream. Store in the refrigerator and ensure that you use it promptly.

Can Mascarpone Be Frozen?

Mascarpone is best used when it is fresh and this gives you the amazing results that you deserve. However you can still freeze any extra mascarpone that you have to avoid it from getting spoiled. You can freeze mascarpone upto 6 weeks.

To use it after freezing, remove it from the freezer and let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator then use it as normal after giving it a good stir. 

However, frozen mascarpone might tend to lose some of its key characteristics such as flavor and texture and for that reason it is best suited to be used on cooked dishes such as sauces, soups and casseroles.

What are some substitutes for mascarpone?

Crème fraîche:

Crème fraîche is by far the most comparable substitute for mascarpone. It is actually regarded as the French version of it. They both have the same flavor and texture but differ in the sweetness as Crème fraîche is quite acidic and has a tang to it while mascarpone is slightly sweet.

Ricotta cheese

Both ricotta cheese and mascarpone are Italian cheeses and ricotta can be used as an alternative for mascarpone when baking. Ricotta is usually more moist and cheesy and also has a grainy texture to it. To better use ricotta and get a creamier effect, whip it prior to using it.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another good substitute that is best used if you are looking to lower your calories and cholesterol amounts. Cottage cheese also has more proteins in it than mascarpone and can therefore help with boosting satiety and help in your weight loss journey.

Other FAQs about Cream cheese that you may be interested in.

How to thaw cream cheese?

How long can you use cream cheese after expiration date?

Is cream cheese cheese?


In this brief article, we have answered the question,”Can you eat mascarpone without cooking it?” We have described the taste of mascarpone and the differences between mascarpone and cream cheese. We have as well discussed how to make mascarpone and some good substitutes.


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