What exactly is cream?

Cooking Coach, I'm just curious. Can you tell me about the different kinds of creams in the supermarket? --julie45

 

What are the different creams? Cream is a smooth, rich product made from separating butterfat from the liquid in whole milk. It is pasteurized and processed into several forms. Almost all cream on the market today has been pasteurized. The many varieties of cream are categorized according to the amount of milk fat in the mixture. Light cream, also called coffee cream, can contain 18 to 30 percent fat but usually contains 20 percent. Light whipping cream, the form most commonly available, contains 30 to 36 percent milk fat and sometimes stabilizers and emulsifiers. Heavy cream, also referred to as heavy whipping cream, is the richest cream available in the United States, with a milk fat content of 36 to 40 percent. Whipping cream will double in volume when whipped. Half and half is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream and is 10 to 12 percent milk fat. Neither half and half nor light cream can be whipped. Creams are highly perishable and should be kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

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