There’s arguably nothing better than starting your morning with a coffee and bagel at Goodrich. With seemingly endless possible bagel and cream cheese pairings, breakfast at Goodrich adds a spark of excitement to an otherwise mundane morning. This semester, Goodrich expanded its offerings by embarking on a “cream cheese of the month” promotion, through which the student-run coffee shop offers a new flavor of cream cheese each month.
In light of Goodrich’s newest promotion, I see no better time to compile a definitive ranking of the coffee shop’s current cream cheese offerings (all homemade by Goodrich staff). I conducted a taste test of each of the cream cheeses to determine which deserved the title of “best cream cheese.” Below are the results:
Prior to my taste test, I had never tried jalapeño cream cheese. I was a bit wary that it would be too spicy for me (especially first thing in the morning), but I soldiered on. The jalapeño cream cheese, although not spicy per se, was certainly sharp, with strong, savory flavors coming across right as I bit into the bagel. The cream cheese, which had bits of jalapeño in it, was surprisingly (and regrettably) crunchy. Ultimately, the overpowering jalapeño flavors of the cream cheese, coupled with its odd texture, led to its last place finish.
November’s flavor of the month, in keeping with the ubiquity of pumpkin spice foods found in autumn, is pumpkin. While this cream cheese had a lot of potential, the flavors were somewhat disappointing. The pumpkin cream cheese was unexpectedly savory, with strong undertones of clove. The consistency of the cream cheese was rather thick – not especially cream-cheese-like. According to Rob Hefferon ’18, supply manager of Goodrich, the odd texture of the pumpkin cream cheese is because it actually has the least cream cheese per volume of all of the cream cheeses. Its almost bitter taste and its unconventional consistency earned this cream cheese the fourth place spot.
Coming in third is the classic: plain cream cheese. You really can’t go wrong with plain, and Goodrich does it especially well. The plain cream cheese was exactly as one would hope an exceptional plain cream cheese would be: creamy, sweet and with just the right hint of cheese flavors.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the chive cream cheese. It was the perfect balance of savory and sweet. Its oniony taste was reminiscent of herbed cheese spreads, but its creaminess ensured that it could still be considered a cream cheese (and an appropriate breakfast condiment).
The only thing that prevented me from awarding this cream cheese the title of “best cream cheese” was its lingering after-taste. If you opt for chive cream cheese, make sure you bring gum.
1. Honey walnut
Finally, in first place, is honey walnut cream cheese. The nuttiness of the walnuts perfectly complemented the sweetness of the honey. The consistency of the cream cheese was also slightly more whipped than many of the other cream cheeses, resulting in an overall softer, more delicate cream cheese. That being said, the crunchiness of the walnuts ensured that this cream cheese did not border on being too creamy or too sweet.
After I had concluded my taste test, I couldn’t help but wonder what December’s flavor of the month would be. When I asked Hefferon, he assured me that Goodrich was in the process of testing numerous options. Upon pressing him for further information, he said, “It will be seasonally appropriate, but it will not reference any December holidays.”
My interest had been piqued. “Gingerbread? Hot chocolate? Peppermint?” I listed all of the flavors I could think of. “No comment,” Hefferon said.
I suppose we’ll all just have to wait until next month.