March 26, 2016

Sour Cream Or Crème Fraîche?

Well now, here's something interesting. I've been working on another of my The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos, this one being about getting cream from goat milk and what to do with it. Of course I research everything extensively, wanting to make sure buyers get their 99¢ worth, ;)

I was looking into sour cream and crème fraîche. Although crème fraîche is sometimes referred to as "European Style Sour Cream," technically these products aren't the same. Sour cream is actually soured (lacto-fermented), while crème fraîche is merely cultured enough to thicken without souring. So I was sitting there, comparing about a dozen internet how-to-make recipes for the two products, and you know what? With the exception of one, the various DIY recipes for each of these two products are exactly the same.

Now, Kurt Timmermeister, author of Growing a Farmer, makes an interesting statement about crème fraîche in his chapter entitled "Raw Milk."
"By morning, part of the cream was at the top; by the next day, even more; and by the third day it had all settled on the top. The result of three days of cream rising to the top of five gallons of Jersey milk after slowly cooling after many hours was the most exceptional cream imaginable. It was crème fraîche."
Well, my goat cream does that too.

Naturally thickened goat cream. I probably don't chill my milk fast enough
to satisfy the milk police, but it turns out I'm making my own crème fraîche!

Maybe I've got something going on that I didn't even know about.

So, sour cream or crème fraîche? Make it how you want and call it what you will, I doubt any of the folks enjoying your delicious recipes will notice or care. They will simply enjoy.

How about that?


13 comments:

  1. What an interesting post. By the way, I am reading Kurt Timmermeister's- Growing A Feast. What a great book.

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    1. I learned a lot from that book, and I keep referring back to it time and again.

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  2. That looks like the perfect thing to put that one...A SPOON! YUMMY!

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    1. And to think I didn't "get it" all this time. :)

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  3. I make creme fraiche all the time. Use interchangeably with sour cream, but creme fraiche is less likely to curdle in hot dishes like stroganoff. That's the reason I like it. Thank you for sharing everything. You are an inspiration to me.

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    1. Barbara, I'd love to know what recipe you use to make your creme frache. Interesting about not curdling as easily. And I love stroganoff; I need to make some soon.

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  4. oooh. I would love some diy sour cream and or creme fraiche. It would be nice to not have to buy so much that I'm the only one eating...sigh.

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    1. Actually, you could probably make whatever amounts you wanted! Sadly neither one of them appears to freeze well.

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  5. we JUST has a discussion about sour cream vs. creme fraiche because I came to the conclusion that I could just use plain yogurt instead of the creme fraiche in a recipe that called for it. I don't see the difference.

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    1. I don't know how exactly it is made, being reliant on shop bought creams. but I do detect quite a different taste between sour cream and creme fraiche, when tried straight out of the pot! and there is a big difference between sour creams as well - we have access to polish products here (many eastern europeans came over to ireland, when the borders opened) and their (and german!) sour cream is totally different to irish sour cream in taste (which tastes more like creme fraiche to me)! and the difference to yogurt would be not only the taste, but the fat content and probably because of the latter - the fact that it curdles less when heated.
      sorry about replying to a comment instead of commenting directly, but google hasn't let me make a normal comment for months here:(

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    2. Katy, ha! It's true so many of the soured milk products are interchangeable. As long as you are happy with the end results, who cares!

      Bettina, so good to hear from you! A lot of folks seem to have trouble with the comments, but Google doesn't seem to be doing anything to fix it.

      Very interesting about the sour cream and creme fraiche. I'm usually saving my cream for whipped cream, butter, and ice cream, so I confess I don't try to make any of the fancier products, although now that I know I've got automatic creme fraiche, I'm going to need to try some things with it.

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  6. We had that debate in the supermarket the other day and you've just told us the difference, thanks.

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    1. So you can buy both at the supermarket? Nice!

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