The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What is the difference between sour cream and crème fraiche?

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Cream is fermented with lactic-acid bacterial cultures to produce sour cream and crème fraiche. The latter has a higher fat content and a richer but less pronounced flavour than sour cream. Some sour creams may contain thickening agents.

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Both sour cream and crème fraiche are fermented milk products made from cream. Bacterial cultures that produce lactic acid are added to let the cream sour and thicken. This gives the product a smooth, somewhat sticky feel. Both are often used in dips or as an ingredient in soups or sauces.

Crème fraiche generally has a higher fat content and a richer, less tangy taste than sour cream.

Thickening agents such as gelatine, guar gum or vegetable enzymes are sometimes added to sour cream, particularly to reduced-fat or ‘light’ varieties, but not to crème fraiche.

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