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Oct 15, 2009 07:34 PM

mexican crema vs. salvadorean crema

In all the latino markets in LA, I see these two creams side by side. Neither is American sour cream, nor are they creme fraiche. Does anyone know what the difference is? (Besides the color--salvadorean is a yellow/cream, while the mexican is white)

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  1. I would also like to know the answer to this question. I'm frustrated because it was easier to find either version in metropolitan Washington, D.C. than it is in Phoenix, Arizona! I've found a number of what purport to be recipes for crema, but none of them taste like Mexican or Salvadorean crema, so there has to be more to it than just heavy cream and buttermilk. Any advice would be appreciated! Muchos gracias!

    3 Replies
    1. re: AZAnne

      I use sour cream and thin it (generously) with heavy cream to the consistency of crema Mexicana. (FWIW, that's my Mexican mom's solution when she can't get the real thing.)

      I don't know anything about Salvadorean crema- sorry I can't help there!

      1. re: AZAnne

        I discovered Mexican Crema in a local Latino market, fell in love with it, and would eat it right out of the container, that is until I checked the fat content. It's got thickeners in it, but here in Mexico where I vacation, it doesn't. It's all milk product thickened by action of some bacteria. But there are variations. I find that I can interchange crema with CF, but prefer the taste of the slightly more fermented and assertive crema.

        1. re: AZAnne

          I purchase excellent Crema at the meat counter (where it is in the case bulk) at Food City in Casa Grande --- I would be surprised if you don't have them in Phoenix as well. We prefer it 10:1 over sour cream. - If you haven't shopped there try it --- they make their own tortillas and I've found EVERY Mexican product I've ever wanted. The only store here that carries fresh and canned napolitos and chorizo. Ms.mcg

        2. IMHO, Mexican crema is much better than sour cream.
          Just try them both. You can only come to some happy conclusion.

          1. I'm Salvadoran and my boyfriend is Mexican. We often talk and compare the differences in ingredients. Mexican crema and Salvadoran crema are almost alike. It depends on the region. The thickness and richness varies through the regions.
            I would say, you can't go wrong with either one, its a matter of finding what taste you prefer.

            1 Reply
            1. re: leyda

              Thanks for that explication. This site:


              (scroll down) purports to lay out the differences but my experience doesn't jibe. I have Mexican crema in my fridge now that is almost as thick as sour cream but I have had a different brand that was flowable. I thought it mainly differed by brand and that if I could get it 'at the source' so to speak, the differences would be more apparent.

              I can find all those mentioned plus Crema Hondurena and I think I've had one from Nicaragua, too, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering that last one right.