Creme Fraiche, an ingredient so creamy and delicious that it can be used to impart rich, tangy, and cooling notes to nearly any dish. Read on to learn more about how to utilize this tasty dairy product.
History of Creme Fraiche
Normandy, a coastal region in France, is where creme fraiche originated. Creme fraiche is unique in that it is the only cream to have been awarded the prestigious appellation d’origine controlee (AOC). Creme fraiche was first awarded AOC status in 1986. Brittany, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardenne are some of the other French towns which are famous for producing creme fraiche. Similar soured creams are found in Northern Europe, most famously in Scandanavian countries. Spain and Central America use the term Creme Fresca in their respective regions.
The Flavor of Creme Fraiche
Creme Fraiche is produced using microbiological cultures. The flavor is generally sour in taste with a rich and luxurious mouthfeel. The reason the flavor is sour is because of the mix of bacteria included in the culture which are Lactococcus, L. cremoris, L. lactis, and L. lactis biovar diacetylactis. The flavor of Creme Fraiche is sour but it is also a bit on the fatty side. In some places in Europe, that fat is regulated according to the areas and demand.
The butterfat content of creme fraiche is normally around 10-45%, but some North American countries and the United Kingdom use around 15% butterfat and other stabilizers such as xanthan gum or cornstarch for low-fat creme fraiche.
Health Benefits of Creme Fraiche
Creme Fraiche is rich in probiotics. Regular use of creme fraiche is not advisable due to its high fat content, but it does contain calcium which is a daily requirement. A couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche is sufficient for your daily calcium intake. Even though creme fraiche is high in calories and fat, a little goes a long way. Just a dollop of creme fraiche will add a touch of luxury to any dish.
Culinary Benefits of Creme Fraiche
There are so many things that you can do with creme fraiche. It is one of the best supplements one can use with their food. Creme fraiche is a multifaceted product and not just limited to certain food products; you can use it on either hot or cold cuisine.
Our recipe for Steak au Poivre uses a generous amount of creme fraiche in the sauce, for a rich and delicious finish. Or try our recipe for Salmon and Asparagus Orecchiette, which uses a combination of creme fraiche and dill for a luxurious sauce. Creme fraiche is used for finishing off savory hot sauces and with its high fat content, curdling is not an issue. Many desserts and dessert sauces use creme fraiche as their base.
Creme fraiche isn’t just for desserts and savory food. We love creme fraiche in our morning fruit bowl alongside berries, citrus, and other mixed fruits. We use creme fraiche as a topping to cut the sweetness from the fruits and add a rich mouthfeel.
Types of Creme Fraiche
There are no other types of creme fraiche per se, but as an option, there are other types of creams that are available as an alternative. There is clotted cream, heavy cream, light cream, whipping cream, sour cream, half and half, and of course, ice cream.
If refrigerated properly, creme fraiche can last up to eight weeks in a sealed container. Creme fraiche needs to be refrigerated promptly after it is made. It should be stored at a temperature below 40°F and should never be frozen. Look for creme fraiche alongside sour cream and cream cheese in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.