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Okay, I LOVE this, well I adore all cheese but Philadelphia is so addictive that I end up putting more than putting more that I should in my bread rolls and on my bagels (yum!) and feel like one of those "angels" in the advertisement on TV for the spread! My hubby is also a big fan of all things cheesy (maybe why he married me:) and loves the taste of Philadelphia spread on toast - he will eat it any time of the day as a snack, I am pleased that he likes to eat a healthy snack, but being a man (sorry guys!) a thin spread is not enough for him --he likes it layered!! Since hubby and I can devour this so quickly, I thought it best to try the extra light version -where could I go wrong? More phili for us and less fattening/clogging of the arteries...did it pay off ?--that's what you will find out!
Price & availability ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The price I usually pay for my Philadelphia extra light is £1.45 or 200g. I feel that this is a fair price, however. I would prefer it to be a little closer to the £1.00 mark, since my husband and I seem to be able to get through a 200g packet amazingly quickly . When we buy it, it looks big enough to last - however this spreads amazingly well and so we both tend to "indulge". From my own experience, this is available form Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's -- even some of the smaller stores have it in stock, for example, my last pack was bought on Victoria station Sainsbury's -where usually you can't find half the things you are looking for, but my good old Philadelphia cheese didn't let me down! Compared to own supermarket's own brands which can be as little as 60p, this spread is quite pricey, however, once I know that I like something , I am one of those people who will stick to the same brand, and, though I like other cheeses, I have never really taken to any supermarkets own brand of cheese -- I'm not saying that I dislike them, I just don't like them enough to replace the Philadelphia, even if the price difference is nearly £1.00.
I am not a huge fan of the packaging -- and with the main three varieties -- regular, light and extra light, it is difficult to get confused with the packaging (especially if you are in a hurry) and buy the wrong thing. The box is grey and blue with "Philadelphia" clearly written accross the outer foil in bold capital lettering. This certainly makes the product easy to identify, but the packaging is quite dull and looks like it could be margarine or butter inside, since it is the same size and shape as a margarine tub. Whether the Philadelphia is light or extra light is shown in the bottom corner of the packet in light blue. I find this easy to mistake and think that going with different colour coding for "light" and "extra light" would have made the product easier to spot. Opposite the writing which tells us whether we have chosen light , extra light etc is the "healthy info" ie/ telling us how many calories this contains - and the sugar, fat, salt and saturates content. The Kraft logo (those good ole people also behind another favourite -dairylea) can be found at the top of the box. The ingrediants can be found on the bottom of the tub.
The smell ~~~~~~~~
Unlike with other cheese speads, what I like about Philadelphia is that it is not over powering at all . It has a very plesent, creamy smell to it, it does smell richer than it is -it has an aroma which is addictive to me and very mouthwatering. Also, unlike other cheese spreads, the smell does not "hit" you as soon as you open the pack, but gently surround you as you spread, making you crave the creaminess of this cheese!
The texture ~~~~~~~~~
Soft, easy to spread, creamy (but not too rich), full flavoured. I love the softness of this cheese and just how east it is to enjoy on almost anything as a snack --it's soft, light texture also makes it perfect for a healthy (cucumber/carrot/breadstick) or naughty (chips/nachos/crisps) dip~~go with the mood that you are in and Philadelphia will fit around your tastes! It's easy to be a little angel and a little devil!
The taste ~~~~~~~~
Not too cheesy, creamy , but not too filling -perfect for a light snack. Philadelphia does not taste too rich, it does , however taste creamy -- the two things are very different on this occasion as Philadelphia has a light taste which won't fill you up, however maintains the creamy, cheesy taste which everybody loves! The light and lighter versions do not take anything away from the taste that I have noticed, they may be slightly less filling, but for me , this is a good thing, as it means that you can enjoy this as a tasty , healthy snack whenever you are peckish. I did not know what to expect the first time that I tried this spread - I was thinking that because it was "extra light" I may not like it and it may taste like a watered down version of the cheese spread I love to snack on. I am always wary of "diet" products of "light/extra light products" as , whilst I do like to stay healthy, I see no reason to compromise on the taste of a product simply because I want to eat/drink more healthily, usually if I don't like a diet/extra light version of a favorite food or drink, then I will buy it less often, still enjoying the full flavour , rather than purchasing what I call the "watered down product". I did not have to make that choice with Philadelphia extra light cheese spread though, as it tastes as good as the original, and if somebody had served this for me,taste wise, I would not know that I was consuming something other than the original Philadelphia, though as mentioned before, the only thing which might give it away is that the original does fill me up more quickly than the extra light version.
Good for a snack? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Philadelphia extra light is definitely good for a snack ~ it will leave you feeling satisfied with out leaving you feeling full or bloated. You know that you are enjoying a healthy snack when you eat this and that it will not effect your main appetite - just give you a vital energy boost.
How does it compare to other cheese snacks? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As afore mentioned, I love Philadelphia spread to snack on, there are other cheese snacks as well as dips which I also enjoy -- some of the main ones are :
Dairylea (also made by Kraft) ~~this is a more filling/heavy cheese than Philadelphia extra light, and, though it is very addictive, I find that it is too rich for me to eat too much of. It is quite expensive for a full pack - but I think there is more spread in a tub of Philadelphia -- in conclusion, you get more for your money with Philadelphia extra light, you can eat more of it with out feeling full or bloated, it is less rich and for that reason slips down more easily than Dairylea cheese.
Babybel~~I adore these little cheeses and for a healthy snack, they taste lovely and are just "handy". I was interested to compare Philadelphia extra light with the lighter (blue) labelled version of babybel as I don't actually enjoy the lighter babybel as much as the original, howver this was different with Philadelphia cheese spread -- the extra light was just as good as the original. The babybels are also quite pricey for just a small amount of cheese and so again, in conclusion, I have to say that I find the Philadelphia extra light much better value for money (will make a lot more snacks) also, the more "healthy' option does not have a different taste, like I have found the "iight" and "regular" babybels to.
How true to life is the television advertisement? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The advertising campaign shows two "angels" sharing this on various snack items (each advert give you a different idea of how you can snack on Philadelphia ~ it is very versatile and will compliment a lot of foods, also, like the angels suggest, it is good for you, whilst being light -floating on a cloud I think the advertisement suggests! This is a very true to the product campaign, as Philadelphia does not leave you feeling full heavy and bloated , but light, happy and healthy!
So, how do you eat yours? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There are many ways to enjoy Philadelphia light spread - as a snack on toast, in a sandwich, on a bagel, in a roll, on crackers, as a dip, on crisps (a little less healthy) , with Nachos, in a bun, with breadsticks, with cucumber, carrots and so on..... You can also enjoy it hot as a pasta sauce, as a side sauce for hot foods such a fajitas and you can enjoy it as part of a salad. A very versatile spread.
In conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~~
A healthy snack that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - for breakfast, lunch or dinner and by any one - children can enjoy it just as much as adults. Although a little pricey, of my favourite cheeses , it wins hands down and is supermarket cheese spreads, although less expensive are not a patch on this! It is very easy to spread and enjoy ~ thought the packaging can sometimes make the different varieties hard to distinguish. It is widely available in supermarkets and has a very "true" advertising campaign to support the product. There is no compromise on taste with the extra light compared to lthe regular and it will not leave you feeling heavy or bloated and is creamy but not overly rich in taste, so it is hard to tire of. it is a great healthy option with a great taste and a spread which I would most certainly recommend.
Spot on review, Versatile little number is filly. Unfortunately the taste of the Extra Light is a little too reminisant of Emulsion Paint for me. If it is not 'full fat' then i'm sorry to say it's not real filly. Great review though. Gary