Why is it “Philadelphia” and not “Chester” cream cheese?

Love that question, reader Tanya, for indeed cream cheese was invented in Chester, New York and not Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It wasn’t inspired by Philadelphia, it was never manufactured in Philadelphia, never shipped from there, stored there…nothing. So why then was it named “Philadelphia Cream Cheese”? Simply because Philadelphia was a big food town in those days. It was — indeed still is — a major center for food processing. Calling his product “Philadelphia Cream Cheese” was William Lawrence’s way of co-opting some of that city’s sterling reputation for quality. It’s one of the great cases of, er… “misleading” advertising.

2 thoughts on “Why is it “Philadelphia” and not “Chester” cream cheese?”

  1. I’m from Northern New York and I believe its called Philadelphia cream cheese because it was invented in Philadelphia, New York. In fact, Kraft still makes it in a neighboring town, Lowville New York. Might want to check that out.

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