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chezcherie

French cream: Merged topics

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a student of mine is spending half her year in california and half her year in france, poor girl. :smile:

she was telling me that she is having trouble finding the right cream for different applications, one of them being her coffee. i opined that perhaps that particular difficulty is because they use milk in coffee, rather than cream, but anyway...)

is there an easy comparision i could provide? _____ equals whipping cream, ____ equals cream for "coffee", etc? thanks et merci!

also, she can't seem to locate premade chicken or beef stock. i thought picard might have it, and also told her to look for powdered versions, if it seems that boxed stock is not available. (i had a wonderful barge cruise through burgundy some years back, and at that time, the chef was telling me that, due to mad cow fears, restaurants were not permitted to make their own stock using bones any longer. but, he said, because of that, there had been increasingly good commercially made stocks available. i don't know if that's still the case?)


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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She might want to take a look at this thread, which has a lot of good information, including information on cream.

Expat Substitutions

As for stock, I haven't seen very much canned stock, but haven't really looked so it's possible that it's available.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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merci, clothilde! your website was one of the first places i looked, but couldn't find anything there. (i am a big admirer of your blog, and i'm looking forward to the book!)


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I'm going crazy here... but didn't want to start a new thread for something so silly, so here's my question. What is Bridelice? I'm talking about this product. It says "creme epaisse legere" on the tub which translates to "thick light cream". But when I used this on top of a pumpkin pie my husband said, "Why did you put sour cream on the pie?" So what is this stuff? Is it sour cream? And in that case why isn't it called "creme fraiche"? And what should I do with it?

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Sour cream is virtually nonexistent in France. Very hard to find.

Bridélice is calorie-reduced cream with thickeners added. It is slightly sour, like crème fraîche, so that is why your husband thought it was sour cream. It is not technically crème fraîche, hence the different name. (You may find a similar product under the name "crème allégée".)

Is it double cream you want on your pumpkin pie? Use a product called "crème semi-épaisse", sold in small cartons. It does not have the sourness of crème fraîche. Or use whipped "crème liquide" or "crème fleurette".

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Is it double cream you want on your pumpkin pie? Use a product called "crème semi-épaisse", sold in small cartons. It does not have the sourness of crème fraîche. Or use whipped "crème liquide" or "crème fleurette".

Thanks, Ptipois! I was hoping either you or John Talbott would read this. I have used the creme liquide of course but I don't recall having seen the creme semi-epaisse in the cartons. I take it that doesn't need to be whipped? I just hate to whip cream. I'm really bad at it. Do French people use this Bridelice product on their desserts? Because personally I didn't mind the slight sourness of it.

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Thanks, Ptipois!  I was hoping either you or John Talbott would read this.  I have used the creme liquide of course but I don't recall having seen the creme semi-epaisse in the cartons.  I take it that doesn't need to be whipped?  I just hate to whip cream.  I'm really bad at it.  Do French people use this Bridelice product on their desserts?  Because personally I didn't mind the slight sourness of it.

Hi Pennylane; to answer your questions: crème semi-épaisse does not need to be whipped but I suppose it would whip allright, just in case you'd like to know. As for Bridélice I never use it (I always prefer a little of the real thing to a lot of the fake thing), but I think it was conceived for all the normal uses of crème fraîche (i.e. a dollop on tarte Tatin or the like).

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Thanks, Ptipois!  I was hoping either you or John Talbott would read this.  I have used the creme liquide of course but I don't recall having seen the creme semi-epaisse in the cartons.  I take it that doesn't need to be whipped?  I just hate to whip cream.  I'm really bad at it.  Do French people use this Bridelice product on their desserts?  Because personally I didn't mind the slight sourness of it.

Hi Pennylane; to answer your questions: crème semi-épaisse does not need to be whipped but I suppose it would whip allright, just in case you'd like to know. As for Bridélice I never use it (I always prefer a little of the real thing to a lot of the fake thing), but I think it was conceived for all the normal uses of crème fraîche (i.e. a dollop on tarte Tatin or the like).

Please straighten me out here. If I want cream to whip I just buy crème entier, normally around 38% butterfat. Works well.

If I'm being American in my dessert serving I'll use this instead of crème fraîche or any of the other 'soured' varieties.

Should I being buying one of the other varieties?

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Please straighten me out here. If I want cream to whip I just buy crème entier, normally around 38% butterfat. Works well.

If I'm being American in my dessert serving I'll use this instead of crème fraîche or any of the other 'soured' varieties.

Should I being buying one of the other varieties?

I always use Creme entiere here for whipping. It;s 30% fat, which is similar to 35-38% in North America. Creme legere is usually 15%, not whippable.

Don't know what people would use for coffee, as I drink it here, as I did in Canada, black.

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Yes of course, use crème entière (liquide or fleurette, which is the same thing) for whipping. But do not whip the thick stuff like crème fraîche or crème double.

Since the topic of coffee comes up, I will add that using crème entière liquide (or fleurette) in coffee is perfectly OK. Crème liquide légère is good too. Do not look for half-and-half, it does not exist in France.

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Gawd, I feel most ignorant but on a recent trip to France I treated myself to some cookbooks, pastry ones, and in Christophe Michalaks book he uses creme epaisse in many recipes and in an early Pierre Herme book ( Plasir's Sucre) he uses it also.

A friend of mine there said it was "thick cream" but is it canned?

I have other books by Bau , Bras and this is the 1st time I've seen this.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Btw, I was in Angouleme this visit and as always, France rules!


2317/5000

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Gawd, I feel most ignorant but on a recent trip to France I treated myself to some cookbooks, pastry ones, and in Christophe Michalaks book he uses creme epaisse in many recipes and in an early Pierre Herme book ( Plasir's Sucre) he uses it also.

A friend of mine there said it was "thick cream" but is it canned?

I have other books by Bau , Bras and this is the 1st time I've seen this.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Btw, I was in Angouleme this visit and as always, France rules!

It means thick cream. When I buy it here it is normally about 35% butterfat.

About the same as double cream in England or whipping cream in the states I think.

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Thanks for that info!!!

It is listed with creme liquide. both at 35% MGF.

Perhaps it means soft peak?

in any event, thank you again and all the best!


2317/5000

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It is none of all that.

It is actually crème fraîche, sold under the appellation "crème fraîche épaisse". It is not double cream, which is uncultured. Crème fraîche is cultured, hence the thickening.

It is a totally different product than "crème liquide" or "crème légère" or "crème fleurette" which are liquid in texture and can be thickened by whipping. Normally you do not whip crème fraîche.

Double uncultured cream is difficult to find in France. Even the crème épaisse de Normandie AOC Isigny (which is a type of crème fraîche) is slightly cultured. This one may, if necessary, be thinned down with water and whipped.

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It is none of all that.

It is actually crème fraîche, sold under the appellation "crème fraîche épaisse". It is not double cream, which is uncultured. Crème fraîche is cultured, hence the thickening.

It is a totally different product than "crème liquide" or "crème légère" or "crème fleurette" which are liquid in texture and can be thickened by whipping. Normally you do not whip crème fraîche.

Double uncultured cream is difficult to find in France. Even the crème épaisse de Normandie AOC Isigny (which is a type of crème fraîche) is slightly cultured. This one may, if necessary, be thinned down with water and whipped.

My friend in France told me it was like creme creme fraiche so you've cleared up a lot.

I make my own so this will work out great.

Thank you for the info, I appreciate it much!


2317/5000

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I'll add to this discussion that I'm having a really hard time finding either crème entière or fleurette without added thickeners and stabilizers. So far here the only thing I an find that claims to be 100% non-cultured cream is in a white plastic bottle, from Yoplait. Since we only have Carrefour and Intermarché, is there some other product at either of those two stores that I'm missing?


Edited by Abra (log)

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Try the magasins bio and other health food stores. They sometimes carry additive-free liquid cream.

The Yoplait bottle you're mentioning is (I think) crème fleurette. But I believe you're confusing "uncultured" and "without additives". All crèmes fleurettes and crèmes liquides are uncultured; some of them contain thickeners or stabilizers, which are not a culture.

Being in Provence you won't easily find that, especially in supermarkets. That kind of cream is rather a regional product, which you will find in Alsace and Lorraine (crème alsacienne) or Savoie.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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No, Yoplait makes a fleurette in the white bottle that has added stabilizers, but also a "crème fraîche liquide" in the same bottle, just a different label, that's just plain whole cream.

I'm not confusing cultures with additives, but my request was probably badly written. I can find a nice cultured crème fraîche from Isigny that is cultured (of course) and has no additives, although other crème fraîche products do have additives (as well as cultures). That's why I think the "crème fraîche liquide" appelation of Yoplait is so peculiar.

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I was looking up the different types of cream and came across this site (only in French).

The site does say that crème fraîche épaisse is thick and slightly acid (sour) from fermentation. From the list, crème fleurette would be closest to a heavy cream with 30+% fat content.

I found it mildly amusing (I think this means confusing!) that crème fraîche can apply both to generic ‘fresh cream’ and to cultured crème fraîche.

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No, Yoplait makes a fleurette in the white bottle that has added stabilizers, but also a "crème fraîche liquide" in the same bottle, just a different label, that's just plain whole cream.

I'm not confusing cultures with additives, but my request was probably badly written.  I can find a nice cultured crème fraîche from Isigny that is cultured (of course) and has no additives, although other crème fraîche products do have additives (as well as cultures).  That's why I think the "crème fraîche liquide" appelation of Yoplait is so peculiar.

Well indeed, from the way you expressed it,

I'll add to this discussion that I'm having a really hard time finding either crème entière or fleurette without added thickeners and stabilizers. So far here the only thing I an find that claims to be 100% non-cultured cream is in a white plastic bottle, from Yoplait.

it was easy to believe you were getting a little mixed up...

"Crème fraîche liquide" is a lexical anomaly, as you're rightly pointing out. But the notions about cream are not very clear with the larger public in France, let alone with the professionals. As a recipe editor I have to correct the cream terminology used by chefs quite frequently. It often requires verbal inquiry to find out what they're referring to. If they write "fleurette" or "liquide" you know where you're going. Once they write "crème fraîche" it is not always clear whether they mean thick or liquid, or if they write "crème double" whether they mean cultured or uncultured, etc. It is a very regional situation.

Depending on the region you're in, you may find very different local cream products. Under the term "crème fraîche" or even "crème" you'll find either thick and cultured cream or thick and uncultured cream (as in Auvergne), and the fact that every cream has its own way of self-fermenting and thickening, depending on the cow's breed and natural cultures in the air. As I wrote above, Norman cream used to be totally uncultured and that is how you may still find it on some local markets; it begins as liquid cream and thickens spontaneously after a couple of days. In the old days it used to be kept in a crockery jar obturated with parchment, placed in a bucket and kept halfway down a well shaft. That is where it was left to thicken. In other regions like Auvergne or Savoie, where the milk is very rich, you will be able to get a similar kind of cream and in its natural state it does not need any culture. And it is called "crème fraîche" as well. Commercial crème fraîche is artificially cultured in order to reproduce the natural process but the results are not the same as for the traditional crème fraîche; to complicate things even further, I realize even crème de Normandie AOC Isigny (which is supposedly the closest commercial equivalent of naturally uncultured crème fraîche) contains a little "ferments lactiques", but owing to its richness (the characteristic of Norman cow milk) it will have a yellowish color and a milder taste than ordinary commercial crème fraîche. The region of production and the type of milk are always, whenever possible, an element to consider.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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