Outsourced Thinking

Last week a colleague of mine tweeted about a new service that offers “exclusive written articles created to your specifications”

I replied that Udo might be stretching the definition of “professional” if we look at the quality of output. Cranking out “content” on demand for pennies a word, one has to wonder about the thought that goes into such work. Cheered on by the folks at @textbrokerUS we decided to test the results.

My kids came up with a topic general enough for anyone to judge and we figured it’d be fun to see what others would come up with too. The pricelist on textbroker.com shows a range of prices depending on the quality required. Three paragraphs follow:

  • 2.2 cents/word – 24 hour turnaround
  • 6.7 cents/word – 5-day turnaround
  • Copy/Paste from wikipedia, use Microsoft Word AutoSummarize feature to shorten

Below are the results, use the poll below to pick what you think is the best quality.  I’ll collect the results for a bit then share the source of each entry in a future post.

The topic was 300 words on the History of Cream Cheese.


ONE

Cream cheese (also called soft cheese) is a sweet, soft, mild-tasting, white cheese, defined by the US Department of Agriculture as containing at least 33% milkfat (as marketed) with a moisture content of not more than 55%, and a pH range of 4.4 to 4.9.

There are French references to cream cheese as early as 1651. According to the American food processing company Kraft Foods, the first American cream cheese was made in New York in 1872 by American dairyman William Lawrence. It can be a base to some spreads, such as yogurt-cream cheese topping for graham crackers, (10 oz cream cheese, and 1 cup yogurt, whipped.). It is sometimes used in place of butter (or alongside butter in a ratio of two parts cream cheese to one part butter) when making cakes or cookies, and it is also used to make cream cheese icing, which is similar to buttercream icing, (using a ratio of two parts cream cheese to one part butter) which is used to ice carrot cake. Furthermore, because cream cheese has a higher fat content than other cheeses, and fat repels water, which tends to separate from the cheese, stabilizers such as guar and carob gums are added to prolong its shelf life.

There are French references to cream cheese as early as 1651. It can be a base to some spreads, such as yogurt-cream cheese topping for graham crackers, (10 oz cream cheese, and 1 cup yogurt, whipped.). Cream cheese is difficult to manufacture.

TWO

Cream cheese, the most popular ingredient for cheesecake, is a smooth, white cheese made from heavy cream and milk.

Specifically the soft, unripened cheese is made from cow’s milk and by law must contain at least 33 percent milk fat and not more than 55 percent moisture. Light or lowfat cream cheese has about half the calories of the regular style.

Cream cheese is frequently used for spreading on bagels, raw vegetables and crackers and as an ingredient in appetizers, snacks and dips.

There are many different types of cream cheese such as Mascarpone, which comes from Italy and Quark which is a cheese from Germany that has a sharp flavor. In parts of Europe, cream cheese is called “white cheese.”

While there are French references to the origin of cream cheese around the 1650’s, the first American cream cheese was made in 1872 in Chester, New York by American dairyman William Lawrence, according to Kraft Foods. Lawrence distributed his cheese under the brand Philadelphia, now a trademark. The Kraft Cheese Company bought Philadelphia cream cheese in 1928 and still owns it today.

To make your own cream cheese, combine 2-3 cups of whole milk and 3 cups of heavy cream in a stainless pot and stir regularly. Mix 2 tablespoons of buttermilk thoroughly into the warmed milk-cream mixture and cover. Then stir in a quarter teaspoon of mesophilic starter culture, which preserves the cream cheese.

Add a quarter teaspoon of calcium chloride liquid and 2 tablespoons liquid rennet to the pot. Cover the pot and allow it to sit overnight at room temperature. The mixture will have gelled by the next morning, at which time line a large strainer with a sterile handkerchief and gently pour the product into the cloth and let drain for roughly 30 minutes. Transfer the cream cheese into a separate container and mix until smooth and creamy and then store in a refrigerator.

And while cheese can be traced back about four thousand years, the first recipe for cheesecake wasn’t recorded until 230 AD.

THREE

References to cream cheese can be found in France dating to the mid-1600s, though surely it existed long before that. The Greeks contend that cheesecake, made with a soft, creamy cheese, was served to athletes participating in the first Olympic games over 2000 years ago. From Greece, this delicacy spread to Rome and throughout Europe in the following centuries.

Neufchatel, the French soft, white cheese, was the inspiration for an American dairyman who developed what is recognized as cream cheese, the familiar, foil packaged uncured cheese. In an attempt to make a version of the French soft cheese, William Lawrence of Chester, New York, stumbled upon a unique creation in 1872, higher in fat due to the addition of cream to the recipe. The true French Neufchatel cheese is made only with whole milk; its fat content is a little over 20% while cream cheese’s is over 30%. Although controversy surrounds the invention of American cream cheese, with some saying a neighbor of Lawrence’s independently developed the same cheese, it was Lawrence’s version that evolved into today’s Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese.

Lawrence began commercially distributing his new cheese in 1880. Wrapped in foil and named after the city renowned for quality products, Philadelphia, the cheese was manufactured by Lawrence’s own cheese factory in Chester and by C.D. Reynolds’ Empire Cheese Company in South Edmeston, New York. Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese’s ownership passed to the Phenix Cheese Company of New York in 1903 after a disastrous fire reduced the Empire Cheese Company to ashes.

The J.L. Kraft Company merged with the Phenix Cheese Company in 1928, obtaining the rights to Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, still manufacturing it today. There are hundreds of other brands, but none as famous as the one originally invented by Lawrence.

UPDATE: the results are in! I’ve posted an overview.

4 Replies to “Outsourced Thinking”

    1. The service is called textbroker and according to there Terms of Service, they check each article for plagiarism. Yet, “we cannot exclude the fact that these security measures can be avoided with a little criminal imagination. In case of deliberate infringement of copyright law, Textbroker will reveal the originator’s contact information to the injured party for further legal prosecution.”

      http://www.textbroker.com/us/f.....broker.php

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