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The correct pronunciation is mas-car-POH-neh. Mascarpone has a texture very similar to cream cheese. In terms of taste, mascarpone is pretty different. At its creamiest, it will taste like thick, cream-cheese-textured whipping cream and is kind of sweet and dessert like. It will be buttery, rich, but also fresh tasting. Some fresh mascarpones can have a slight tang to them, but it’s very subtle. In making raw mascarpone cheese, the key ingredient to obtaining that “tang” is the use of probiotics. The mesquite powder adds that little extra creamy caramel flavor to the mascarpone giving it that robust flavor.
Mascarpone is a lot more sour than cream cheese and it is often referred to as “Italian cream cheese.” It is most often associated with desserts, especially the classic tiramisu, but it can be used in savory recipes as well; it will add to the creaminess and flavor of a dish without overwhelming the taste. Recently, I use this recipe as a topping on strawberries. Check out the recipe for Balsamic Strawberries topped with Raw Mascarpone Cheese.
You can use this cheese on crackers, breads, fruit dip, and I am sure there are many other ways that it can be enjoyed. The key is to have a high-powered blender so you can get a really smooth and creamy mouth feel.