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Mjx

What's in your cream?

102 posts in this topic

I've always thought of heavy cream as one of those single-ingredient things (unlike 'convenience' creams that are pre-sweetened, or intended for coffee). The Homemade butter topic opened my eyes to the fact that, in many places, heavy cream containing various additives is the norm, to the point that finding unadulterated versions is almost impossible.

In Denmark, there doesn't seem to be any difficulty in finding plain heavy cream: The stuff I have in the refrigerator, purchased at the local Fakta chain, lists cream as its only ingredient, and indicates a fat content of 38% (it is 'økologisk', which is roughly equivalent to 'organic').

Does the heavy cream you find in your area tend to be unadulterated, or does it contain extras? And, if it does contain extras, what are they, and what's the fat content of the cream?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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We used to be able to get unadulterated pasteurized heavy cream at the Whole Foods (it was about 40% as I recall), but now the ones near me only carry ultrapasteurized (hate the off taste that has) with stabilizer gums.

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In Manhattan, Whole Foodses typically have plain pasteurized cream - house brand as well as Ronnybrook, one of our New York State producers that is sold fairly widely, including at farmers' markets. But occasionally - sometimes at the Bowery store, sometimes at Columbus Circle - they also sell a wonderful Vermont cream from Jersey cows: Butterworks Farm. I seem to remember seeing Milk Thistle dairy products at some Whole Foodses too, but I don't recall seeing their heavy cream.

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It's pretty normal here now for cream to be ultrapasteurized, with stabilizers. Whole Foods house brand was unadulturated the last time I bought some, but maybe that's changed. It's possible to get regular pasteurized gunk-free cream, but these days it may mean a special trip to one of few places that carry it. As to fat content, it can vary a bit from dairy to dairy. I think cream marked "heavy" cream has to be at least 36%.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, and Carageenen in my GFS ultrapasturized cream. It still can make a good cultured butter though (culture obtained separately).

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It makes me wonder when I see folks here complain, or at least comment on, the use of these stabilizers in their cream while on the multitude of "Modernist" topics EG is lousy with everyone is just giddy about using them.

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I don't think i've ever been able to find cream that was just cream. Not even whole foods. And i've checked many many times.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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It makes me wonder when I see folks here complain, or at least comment on, the use of these stabilizers in their cream while on the multitude of "Modernist" topics EG is lousy with everyone is just giddy about using them.

I really don't have any problem with modern gums etc... except when I'm trying to do something with a product that's a little unusual and the gums get in the way. It has never bothered me about cream until I was trying to make butter.

I'm not one that is scared of modern ingredients. I think the health risks to most of them are greatly exaggerated if not completely false.

ETA: It also ticks me off I can't buy unpasteurized milk with which to make cheese but that's another discussion.


Edited by BadRabbit (log)

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Hi,

The easiest way to find "manufacturer's cream" (no additives) is to phone local dairies and ask if they make the product and what retailers stock that product. Your State's Department of Agriculture can supply the names and numbers of dairies.

Meijer food stores in MI, IL, IN, OH an KY carry fresh heavy "pasteurized" cream from Michigan with two ingredients, cream and milk. It is excellent. We hold unopened containers until they are a few weeks beyond the expiration date and scooping out wonderful double cream.

Tim

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My not so local, local market's house brand half and half is milk, cream and disodium phosphate. I'm going to have to go check out what the heavy cream is made of.

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100% cream is now only available at specialty stores here and then it is extremely expensive. The stuff with additives will clump and come out of the carton looking quite disgusting. Like an earlier poster, I am not against additives per se but on my terms. They should not be in my cream!


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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The stuff with additives will clump and come out of the carton looking quite disgusting.

I don't find that to be the case. At least not for a month or two.

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Do we really have reason to believe that added gums cause the cream to clump together? I've had cream clump, but the most clumping I've gotten has been from unhomogenized cream that didn't have additives.

I assume gums are added to make whipping easier. Do they serve any other purpose?

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I assume gums are added to make whipping easier. Do they serve any other purpose?

This page seems to support your assumption.

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Hi,

The easiest way to find "manufacturer's cream" (no additives) is to phone local dairies and ask if they make the product and what retailers stock that product. Your State's Department of Agriculture can supply the names and numbers of dairies.

Meijer food stores in MI, IL, IN, OH an KY carry fresh heavy "pasteurized" cream from Michigan with two ingredients, cream and milk. It is excellent. We hold unopened containers until they are a few weeks beyond the expiration date and scooping out wonderful double cream.

Tim

I buy manufacturing cream, an Alta Dena product, at Smart & Final. It comes in half gallon cartons and is much cheaper than buying heavy cream in the smaller containers.

I use it to make butter, clotted cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese &etc. Works like a dream and has no additives.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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It makes me wonder when I see folks here complain, or at least comment on, the use of these stabilizers in their cream while on the multitude of "Modernist" topics EG is lousy with everyone is just giddy about using them.

At least some of use are not giddy about them. For some applications it makes not much difference, but I don't like gunk in my ice cream. Also, ultrapasteurization is less desirable for ice cream too. I'm not real big on gelatin, either.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Seriously, I am interested in where all this cream with weird stuff in it is from. Are we talking America? Canada? Australia? Here in the UK pure cream can be easily got from Tescos without a high price tag. So I am curious as to why it is not similar elsewhere.

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In the US is where it's very difficult to find pure cream.

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Seriously, I am interested in where all this cream with weird stuff in it is from. Are we talking America? Canada? Australia? Here in the UK pure cream can be easily got from Tescos without a high price tag. So I am curious as to why it is not similar elsewhere.

I live in Dallas, Texas, USA. I can't seem to find it in grocery stores here. As has been mentioned, this is pretty common throughout the country.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Seriously, I am interested in where all this cream with weird stuff in it is from. Are we talking America? Canada? Australia? Here in the UK pure cream can be easily got from Tescos without a high price tag. So I am curious as to why it is not similar elsewhere.

It is a function of our large commercial agriculture and supermarket distribution system in the U.S.

I am able to buy "real" cream from spring to fall at farmers markets.

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It makes me wonder when I see folks here complain, or at least comment on, the use of these stabilizers in their cream while on the multitude of "Modernist" topics EG is lousy with everyone is just giddy about using them.

Not to mention all those justifying the use of "meat glue" in another forum! :huh:

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I have a quart of regular store bought heavy cream in my fridge (Alta Dena) and with the "extra" ingredients.

I need to make some butter and really don't feel like trekking down to Palmdale to the nearest Smart & Final so will make a half-size batch tomorrow with this 'ultrapasteurized" stuff to see how different it is to the manufacturing cream.

First thing in the morning I will do the routine, taking photos as I go.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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