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Is there an Italian equivalent for creme fraiche?

  • c

I took a cooking class last week and the teacher made a french beggar's purse with an herbed crepe, lobster meat, shallots and creme fraiche. For Christmas Eve, I thought about making an italian version using some shrimp, prosciutto, maybe a little spinach and a player to be named later (this is where the creme fraiche equivalent comes in). It would be served over a warm, broken tomato vinaigrette (or maybe a coulis, haven't decided yet) and maybe a little Jackson Pollack pesto.

Any thoughts?

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  1. not really an equivalent that comes to mind, but i suppose mascarpone could work.

    1. mascarpone

      1. Creme fraiche has more sour cream tang to it than moscarpone. I think it would be deelish for this purpose, though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: oakjoan

          Which would be deelish? The marscapone?

          1. re: Christina D

            Mascarpone is CHEESE. It is never used in place of cream.

        2. Mascarpone is much sweeter than creme fraiche.

          I don't know of an Italian equivalent, but I would be reluctant to use mascarpone. I don't think you want to add sweetness to your dish.

          Remember the first rule of fusion cooking: respect the culture.

          You might try to reduce some fresh cream so that it is quite thick.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Food Tyrant

            I was concerned about the sweetness of marscapone too. What would you think about a little fresh buffalo mozzerella?

            1. re: Christina D

              Or what about ricotta, which is closer in texture?

              1. re: wmk

                I agree. Pureed ricotta, perhaps with a bit of sour cream added, is closer to creme fraiche than mascarpone.

            2. re: Food Tyrant

              I thought of mentioning ricotta or better yet burata, but chees is not something that an Italian usually pairs with seafood. Although either a ricotta or buratta are extremely mild, and wouldn't interfere with the flavor of the shrimps.

              Make your own ricotta for an even better flavor and mix in some heavy cream.

            3. I don't think crème fraîche is ever used in Italy. They do use heavy whipping cream.
              I would not suggest using ricotta, mascarpone or any other cheese. I would use heavy cream or a light balsamella sauce ( béchamel)