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Where can I buy "heavy cream"?

I live in Toronto, Canada. The big, grocery store chains I usually shop at only carry up to "whipping cream". I used this in a recipe, thinking the lack of a few percentages of milk fat will not be a big deal. My recipe turned out to be a little more runny than it should have been and so it's got me thinking that it's because I used "whipping cream" as opposed to "heavy cream". Does heavy cream have to be bought at specialty food stores? And if so, which one?

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  1. Whipping cream is "lighter" than heavy cream but liquid is liquid...as in a cup (or any portion of such)is still a cup.

    Maybe you can post the recipe and tell us what went wrong?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      Milk used to be delivered in bottles with the cream separated at the top. That top layer was often "raided" for cooking.

      What exactly were cooks of that time skimming? How much BF and how thick?

      Is non-homogenized milk still available?

      1. re: DockPotato

        I used to love licking the thick cream off our milk bottles. I had to fight my sisters for it though. Wish milk still came in bottles... Much more environmentally friendly.

    2. What went wrong with the recipe is that he used whipping cream (30-36% fat) instead of heavy cream (40% fat). The question is, where can he find heavy cream. You can check at your grocery for heavy whipping cream which will be 40% also. perhaps the dairy manager can help you with this.

      1. Try Whole Foods - bet they will have "real" heavy cream.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jcanncuk

          Yes, but it's expensive, so, of course, I bought some. It comes in a small glass bottle which I've kept for keeping regular milk very cold in the fridge. By the way, I bought some of the whole milk in the glass bottles there and was surprised by a layer of cream on the surface when I got home!

        2. As far as I know, the term "heavy cream" is not used in Canada. I've always used whipping cream (35%) when heavy cream has been called for, with no problems.

          On the other hand, if your whipping cream was the yucky ultra-pasteurized version, I'd be more prone to blaming your problem on this than on the cream's butterfat content.

          1. Terminology issue here...

            "Heavy cream" is the US term for "whipping cream". Canadian 35% butterfat whipping cream is the closest match.

            Most cream sold in Canada is UHT Pasteurized and contains additives to counteract damage caused by the heating process. The results are less than stellar and the taste is also affected.

            If you can get Hewitts brand whipping cream, I think you will find that it both whips and tastes better than the standard supermarket variety. This is true even if the Hewitts cream has only 32% butterfat, so I don't think the fat percentage is the cause. (Most high end and natural food stores have it.) Failing that, look for an organic brand that contains cream, and possibly milk, as its ONLY ingredients and that is not UHT.

            There is also "double cream", which is sometimes available at Loblaws. This is usually 40%. It is thicker than whipping cream and can be stirred into many recipes and cooked to thicken. It doesn't really whip, though.

            Finally, there is creme fraiche, which you can also stir into your recipe. It is tangier and tastes very delicious, but it also doesn't whip well.

            My opinion: if you need whipped cream, go for Hewitts; for a thickened cream sauce, go for double cream or creme fraiche.

            2 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Clotted cream 55% and heat treated Served as it is with scones, jam etc.
              Double Cream 48% Whips the easiest and thickest for puddings and desserts.
              Heavy Cream (36% or more) Also a whipping cream
              Whipping cream 35% Whips well but lighter, can be piped and has been whipped Decorations on cakes and gâteaux (Sponge cake).
              Sterilized cream 23% is sterilized
              Cream or single cream 18% is not sterilized Poured over puddings, used in coffee
              Sterilized half cream 12% is sterilized
              Half cream 12% is not sterilized Used in coffee, some cocktails

              1. re: Darkstar1955

                Where are you located and from where does this info come? I'm curious, because the available products I've seen in Toronto are completely different.

                Clotted cream: not made locally - imported from England sterilized, in jars, tastes nothing like the "real thing"

                Double cream: made by Western Creamery for Loblaw's - thick, and nearly solid if not stirred. Doesn't whip well and doesn't need whipping to use as a topping

                Heavy cream: I've never seen it for sale

                Whipping cream: 32-35% depending on brand - most brands (including organic) are UHT

                Sterilized cream: refers to either tetra packed or canned cream or to individual UHT creamers for foodservice - it's a packaging term with no specific butterfat level implied

                Cream or single cream: I've never seen for sale

                Coffee cream or table cream: 18% - most brands are UHT

                Half-&-Half: 10% - most brands are UHT

                Light cream: 5% - UHT

            2. What were you trying to make?

              Milk Fat is very important when it comes to baking. there is a delicate chemical balance of acids and bases. you need to either get a recipe that uses 35% or reduce "our" whipping cream until it hits 40%. the math: reduce 1l of 35% to become 875ml of 40%. or you could head to the border and try and smuggle some back ;)

              (or if you really understand the science you could mess with the baking soda/baking powder volume to get it right)

              good luck.


              2 Replies
              1. re: HarryLloyd

                I was following a recipe for a veal dish with a "creamy mushroom sauce". The sauce turned out to be thinner and runnier than expected and so I attributed to the fact that I couldn't find any "heavy cream" (at least 36% milk fat) and substituted with "whipping cream" (35% milk fat). The recipe didn't call for any flour which convinced me more that I should've really used "heavy cream". I ended up adding flour or cornstarch (I forgot which) to thicken it. And so this peaked my interest in seeking out "heavy cream" because I've always seen the grocery-chains only carry up to "whippping cream".

                1. re: alleycat81

                  The 35% whipping cream should have been fine. I assume you had UHT cream. Another possibility: the recipe was flawed and used too much liquid. If you reduce 35% cream enough, it will thicken eventually.

              2. I tend to use a lot of English recipes, which call for heavy cream. I consistently use good old North American whipping cream, and I consistently have no problems ....

                1. yes the brits have this lovely heavy cream - it's thick like a runny custard really - my friend in london buys hers at the local grocery and serves it over berries or poured over cakes. Never seen anything like it in Canada. Maybe the double cream with 40% butterfat listed above is the equilivant??

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: shana

                    Yes in richness, but not even close in flavour. If you take the fridge chill off the double cream and stir it, it will pour. But I think you'll be at least somewhat disappointed.

                    1. re: shana

                      My sister lived on-and-off in London years ago, and fell in love with clotted cream, which is what I suppose you're referring to.

                      Afternoon tea is served with clotted cream alongside the scones.

                      I've seen tiny jars of "Devon Cream," which I believe is clotted cream, for sale in the dairy case at Loblaw's. Very expensive, very high in butterfat, very tempting...

                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                        Anyone up for comparing the two? I've tried this clotted cream in the past and found it quite disappointing. Perhaps it's too pasteurized for the flavour nuances to come through. But I've outgrown my pants over the holiday season, so this isn't the right moment for me to do a butterfat tasting :-)

                        1. re: embee

                          I've walked by the Devon Cream hundreds of times over the past number of years. I refuse to try it for fear I WILL like it.

                          1. re: embee

                            IMHO the 'Devon Cream' from Loblaw's is but a sad shadow of clotted cream I have had in London. The 'DC' is on an near footing in terms of richness but the flavour doesn't quite come across.

                            1. re: kerwintoronto

                              Loblaw's sells two types of Devon cream (at the Forest Hill location, anyway). One has the Loblaws label and is made in Canada, and the other is imported from England, made by The Devon Cream Company; it's called "Double Devon Cream" (it's 48% m.f.).

                      2. Clotted cream is something else again, neither double cream or heavy cream and there is NO point in getting the Canadian version. Say what you will about English food but their dairy products are a world apart from ours...my aunt still has it delivered to her door everyday!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: cityhearts

                          I could be mistaken, cityhearts, but I believe the Devon (or Devonshire) cream sold at Loblaw's is imported from England.

                          1. re: cityhearts

                            Real clotted cream is "cooked" but not pasteurized. Fresh milk is left at room temperature for 12 hours or so and then gently, very gently heated, reducing the water content.

                            The Devon cream sold in stores in Canada is not clotted. It's double cream. BIG difference.

                          2. I keep the cream in my fridge and let it age.
                            It works best and whips best just before the bite date.
                            I agree that these bottlede clotted, devonshire, etc. don't taste the same here.
                            I get a bit of a "chemical" taste, possibly the preservatives.

                            1. Thought I would bump this up and see if any updates. A lot of pasta sauce recipes I see call for heavy cream and I never am able to find this. Any ideas?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: HandPay

                                I think in your case, you're looking at US recipes--their "heavy cream" is the same as Canadian "whipping cream."
                                Whipping cream/heavy cream doesn't separate when you heat it, that's why it's preferred for pasta sauces.