What is crème fraîche?
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Crème fraîche is a dairy product, similar to sour cream but thicker, less tangy, and richer in taste. It’s made from cream that has been fermented with a bacterial culture, giving it a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture. It’s widely used in French cuisine as a topping or ingredient in soups, sauces, and desserts due to its ability to withstand heat without curdling.
Crème fraîche can be purchased at most supermarkets, especially those with a well-stocked dairy section or gourmet food aisle. It’s commonly found near other cream products like sour cream and mascarpone.
Alternatively, crème fraîche can be easily made at home. The basic method involves combining cream with a small amount of buttermilk, then allowing it to sit at room temperature for about 24 hours until it thickens. This process allows the natural bacteria to thicken and sour the cream, creating a product similar to what you would buy in a store. Homemade crème fraîche may have a slightly different flavor and texture compared to commercial versions, but it’s a great substitute for many recipes.