In other words, what do I ask for at the cheesemonger? ;o)
You don't need to talk to the cheesemonger. Low fat cream cheese is a very close substitution.
I have read that quark or yogurt cheese is a good substitute...also equal parts cottage cheese and yogurt, depending on your recipe.
Queso fresco the mexican cheese. Or low fat yogurt drained overnight in cheese cloth to a cream cheese consistency. Or ask for formage blanc. Bascially a low fat cream cheese type product.
If you're using equal parts cottage cheese and yoghurt you'll want to throw it in the blender or food processor before you use it to get a creamy texture. Greek style yoghurt works too.
Cowgirl Creamery makes fromage blanc, but it's not the same as fromage frais. Low fat cream cheese is the closest approximation.
I live in the UK, in my opinion Fromage Frais is more like quark rather than cream cheese. Its kind of like a thick unsweetened yoghurt [as previously stated] or low fat sour cream.
I live I the uk too- are you heating the fromage frais? If so, I'd go for sour cream too, as it'll be less likely to split, otherwise a thick Greek yoghurt would do the job...
I'd say Greek yogurt or sour cream too, although it's consistency is somewhere between that and cream cheese. Maybe a blend of the two?
However - I've bought it at Whole Foods before, though they may not all carry it. Also, my local cheese shop always has it (the owner is very French - a General in the French Legion du Fromage, or whatever that organization is that rules cheese in France) - so you might find the real thing. Pricey, but worth the splurge. (Btw, it's also called Petit Suisse, in case you see that.)
Apologies for the spam -- we're working on tracking down the person, so we can egg his/her house.
Old post I know but I’ve found the us brand of petit filous. It’s called Danonino and it’s called “ dairy snack” here