Neufchatel cheese (Pronunciation: new-shuh-TELL OR NEW-shuh-tell) is a soft unripened cheese that originates in France. The American version, which is similar to cream cheese, is made from pasteurized milk and cream. American Neufchatel is slightly lower in calories than cream cheese and has slightly more moisture. Regular cream cheese can be substituted for Neufchatel cheese, especially in recipes for dips and spread, with good results. You may notice a slightly different texture in cooked products.
Cream cheese is an American invention developed in 1872 in New York state. A cheese distributor soon commissioned the enterprising dairyman to produce the cream cheese in volume under the trade name “Philadelphia Brand®.” The company was eventually bought out by Kraft Foods in 1928, and still remains the most widely-recognized brand of cream cheese in the United States.