Many Mommy and Cooking blogs give a recipe for Cream Cheese which does not include any culture or rennet. That is simply misinformed. Especially for those who claim a cooking pedigree. Honestly, the lies are thick out there.
In any case, there is a simple dichotomy when making soft cheeses, in terms of cream cheese vs. mascarpone.
- Mascarpone is generally very high fat content, and can be made usually without rennet (though there are recipes that do use rennet)
- Cream Cheese can have medium to very low (to non-fat) fat content, and most recipes call for the use of culture and rennet (though there are recipes that do not use rennet)
If the recipe is somewhere in the middle -- that is some fat content, but not high, and not low -- and no rennet, then what is being made is probably better named Queso Fresco, Queso Blanco (if a bit harder), Fromage Blanc or some kinds of Quark (though again, like Mascarpone, there are Quark recipes with culture and rennet).
I guess, as the Internet does, call it what you want, but don't call it late to supper.
Mascarpone Recipes and Information
- Mascarpone (Wikipedia)
- Mascarpone Recipe (A Pastry Affair)
- Mascarpone Recipe (Cheesemaking.com)
- Mascarpone Recipe (Cultures for Health)