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Nov 21, 2007 09:34 AM

Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream?

I don't like creme fraiche. To me, it just tastes too "watered down" It lacks the tang of sour cream, which i find light and refreshing. Also, it has a slightly metallic mouth feel, which is very unappetizing. Sour cream is always the choice I make, regardless of the application. Whether it be a hearty chile relleno or a delicate caviar (paddlefish or lumpfish for me - just can't justify the cost for such a subtle difference), I think it works wonderfully. Sometimes, I might tone it down with a little heavy cream or half and half if necessary, but it still keeps great flavor and never has the empty taste that creme fraiche can have. Maybe I haven't had good creme fraiche. Another possibility is that I might have just developed a liking to my favorite (Yoder's) sour cream. Or maybe I just don't have a very refined palate (Hey - I do eat a lot of Greek food-lol). Anyone else like this, or is it just me?

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  1. I'd take creme fraiche over sour cream any day, but use sour cream mostly for cold dishes. For finishing a nice sauce, though, creme fraiche is unbeatable. I find it much more creamy and buttery and rich tasting than sour cream... I guess I am saying I like it. A lot. :-D

    1. Second vote for creme fraiche. I love the flavor and texture--I would say it has a more subtle flavor, more buttery.

      What brand of CF did you try?

      1 Reply
      1. re: coney with everything

        Don't remember the brands. but i tried two different brands through different local grocery stores (Giant Eagle and Fisher's). I tried each more than once, hoping it was a bad batch, but they were both the same. uses vermont butter and cheese brand, I wanted to try it, but haven't, because they messed up my one and only order.

      2. This may sound nutty, but have you ever tried FAGE Total 0% yogurt? It may have too much tang for what you want, but I think it makes a great substitution for Breakstone's sour cream.

        2 Replies
        1. re: louweezy

          Man, I wish they sold the regular Fage around here. The highest you can get is 2%, which works well enough for yaourti me melo (yogurt with walnuts and honey) -- but the regular one is the best. Maybe if one mixed creme fraiche into it? ;-)

          1. re: louweezy

            absolutely greek yogurt...and I enjoy FAGE very much...but there are several brands of 0% fat greek yogurt that are excellent subs for sour cream or creme fraiche. Oikos is excellent too.

          2. I've tried a few commercial brands of creme fraiche to no avail....just plain yuck. Somewhere I saw a RECEIPE for making your own creme fraiche. I think it was a combination of sour cream and heavy cream and then you leave it for 24 hours at ROOM TEMP...Has anyone seen anything like this or facsimilie?

            2 Replies
            1. re: bmgjrg

              Wikipedia says heavy cream with a little buttermilk.

              1. re: madgreek

                yes, it's heavy cream and buttermilk -- buttermilk must be the kind with live cultures or it won't work. and yes, you do leave it out at room temp which sounds really nasty but it works. i was surprised the first time i tried to make it -- it tasted really good: fresh, a little tangy, creamy. To me it has a much cleaner taste than sour cream, is a little bit lighter (not sure if I'm desribing it correctly), and has a more creamy taste.

                in my area, creme fraiche can be found in the refrigerated cases with the cheeses. i don't recall the brand but it was a pink tub. i think i like my homemade a little better.

            2. homemade creme fraiche
              1 cup heavy cream
              1 oz buttermilk
              mix, set aside at room temp for 24 hrs
              (we make it at the restaurant i work at in quantities of 2 quarts heavy cream to 1 cup buttermilk. without using, it has a shelf life of about 2 weeks)
              hope this helps.
              p.s. my vote is creme fraiche

              4 Replies
              1. re: SiksElement

                a-ha! That is a great recipe. Will have to try, as the creme fraiche is rather expensive in the store...

                1. re: SiksElement

                  Make sure you heat the cream and then stir in the buttermilk. Let it sit in a loosely covered jar in a warm spot for a day. Far more buttery than yogurt or sour cream.

                  1. re: SiksElement

                    Bear in mind that culturing with buttermilk tastes different and can't compare to the flavor of creme fraiche from a quality producer. Why not culture with a commercial creme fraiche that you like?


                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      A great article. I put it in my permament food file when it was first published. Thanks for referencing it.

                      Other current creme fraiche thread at