PRONOUNCE IT CORRECTLY!
Mascarpone may have the distinction of being the most misspelled and mispronounced cheese.
Too many Americans call it “marscapone,” mar-sca-PON-neh, trespassing the consonants. The correct pronunciation is mas-car-POH-neh.
The cheese is believed to have originated in the Lombardy region of Italy, in the late 1500s or early 1600s. Lombardy, in the northern part of the country (it includes the cities of Brescia, Cremona, Mantova, Milano and Sondrio), has a rich agricultural and dairy heritage.
THE HISTORY OF CREAM CHEESE
In the 1870s, New York State farmers farmers began to make a soft, unripened cheese modeled after the French Neufchâtel cheese. Within a few decades, a recipe for “cream cheese” appeared, made by mixing cream into the Neufchâtel curd.
The new soft cheese was molded into small wood block forms. Because the city of Philadelphia had a reputation for fine food, a New York-based manufacturer, Phenix Cheese Company, named its product Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese.
It was the leading brand then as now. J.L. Kraft and Bros., established in 1909, acquired Phenix Cheese Company in 1930. The company is now called Kraft Foods Group.
WHAT IS CURD?
Fruit curd is a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter, generally flavored with citrus juice and zest. Lemon curd is the classic variety, but lime curd and blood orange curd can be found, as can other fruit curds such as the strawberry.
A citrus curd is refreshingly tart, as opposed to more sugary jams and preserves. Unlike lemon custard, for example, lemon curd contains more lemon juice and zest, which gives it a more piquant flavor. The butter creates a smoother and creamier texture than jam.
Curd also can be used to fill tart shells, and as a garnish. Here’s the comparison of curd to the jelly, jam, marmalade, preserves, etc.
 Mascarpone, plain or flavored, can be used as a dip for fruit or cookies. The top bowl is flavored with coffee liqueur, like tiramisu (photo courtesy East Wisconsin Cheese).  Mascarpone has many uses. Here it’s an easy topping, piped onto fresh strawberries (photo courtesy Giant Eagle). It’s also delicious with dates.