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help me with American cream

I am from England where there a several types of cream, single, double, extra thick double, Jersey or Guernsey, clotted etc. The cream section of the supermarket is big generally, even the corner shops have a reasonable selection for the most part.

Here in the US there is err well pretty much just heavy cream and whipping cream (I don't mean the stuff in a squirty can). If I want fruit and cream it coats the fruit for a few seconds and then falls off. Is there thicker cream than whipping or heavy cream, are they all so white? Am I just unlucky that the supermarkets in Florida don't carry better quality cream. If I want heavier cream do I have to partially whip what I can get?

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  1. Smartie- I wish you the best of luck. I work in a good grocery store and we carry all of 2 varieties, neither of which I think will coat a berry. Such creams exist in the U.S., but seem to exist only in commercial kitchens- most of the ones on grocery shelves are somewhere in the realm of 30% fat and often thickened with gelatin or cargeen (a seaweed derived gel). While I worked in kitchens, we had the chance to play with 41% cream.
    I would suggest contacting some of the larger dairies (we used Land o lakes) and see if they distribute their heavier creams near by.

      1. If there's a Trader Joe's around, they carry heavy creams in chiller next to the milks. It's a slender white bottle with a pink top cap ring. If none, try going to a local Latino/Hispanic grocery, they may carry heavy cream sold in cans made by Nestle (may be called media crema) or the brand Cacique crema Mexicana in plastic bottles. It's similar to the cream from Switzerland and I use it all the time with my fruit and desserts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: trvlcrzy

          Yes, this! Cacique crema is certainly available in Florida!

        2. You're not looking for clotted cream, are you? I think that's rather difficult to find in the states.

          If you want good yellow cream, you may have to get it directly from a dairy. There are a few raw milk dairies licensed to operate in the US, I was fortunate enough to have lived near one for many years. Otherwise you may have to make friends with a farmer.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ZenSojourner

            I can find clotted cream at specialty and British stores around me, but it's not what the poster wants. Clotted cream is spreadable, and the cream I think she's looking for (I recall it being called double cream when I was in Britain) isn't something I've seen here commercially. This Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_c... says double cream is 48% milkfat, and there's nothing on the US market like that.

            1. re: Chris VR

              no I don't want clotted cream - it can be bought in jars (!!) in Brit specialty stores but it's not the real thing. Yes was looking for a yellowy thicker cream, sigh times like this when I miss Marks and Spencer.
              Florida does have cows and dairies but it's all homogeonized extra pasteurized down here in south Fl.

              1. re: smartie

                The company that makes the clotted cream we get here also packages a double cream. It's in a similar squat jar, but the label's a different color. Similar price, too. :(

          2. I don't think I've ever even seen anything thicker than whipping cream in a Canadian or American dairy section. Things like clotted or Jersey cream I know only from books. What I've usually seen is half and half (10%), plus sometimes an 18% table cream, plus whipping cream. And yes, it's all so white - if it weren't people would bring it back as defective.

            For fruit, I'd go with lightly whipped whipping cream as your best option.

            Where I live now we can get homogenized whole milk and UHT whipping cream, with nothing in between. And the whipping cream is imported from Australia.

            1. While it's sadly true that we Yanks don't have the wonderful cream choices available in the British Isles, there are some ways around it, although I have to echo soupkitten's comment about you being in Florida, which is not a dairy state. That's a bit of a strike against you finding anything beyond heavy cream (36-40% butterfat) whipping cream (30-35% butterfat) and the other variations, half 'n half (for coffee or cereal) or light cream (for coffee and some baking projects.)

              I have seen clotted cream in the states, imported from Devon, and smaller dairies often will carry heavy cream with a higher butterfat content specifically from a certain breed, Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, whatever, but not in Florida.

              The reason why American cream is so white is because of the breed of cow the cream comes from. The Holstein reigns supreme in the US, although we do have herds of Jerseys, Guernseys and Brown Swiss producing milk and cream for commercial dairies, or a mix of breeds. Much of the very good quality cream goes into cheese production in the US.

              For your needs, I suggest getting heavy cream, not whipping cream, and not anything labeled "ultrapasteurized" and whip it just slightly to a very soft peak. That should be somewhat similar to your double cream and will coat your berries.

              Helpful reading material for you:


              You need to move to a dairy state, New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Cailfornia, (my first pick for family dairies) Minnesota or Idaho; even then, there's no guarantee of finding a big selection of great cream in supermarkets. Ah, life in these United States...

              7 Replies
              1. re: bushwickgirl

                You need to move to Yellow Springs Ohio. Preferably directly into the Young's Jersey Dairy barn. One of I believe only 3 fully licensed raw milk dairies in the country.

                1. re: ZenSojourner

                  Well, I live in a dairy state, and we do have the good stuff available; farm raw milk sales are legal here and there are 19 approved farms. However, getting it in NYC is another matter; there's a black market for it in the city now.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    Wow, apparently the licensing of raw milk has exploded!

                    40 years ago, Young's was the only one. Then 20 years ago, it was one of 3.

                    Apparently there are now 10 states that allow retail sales of raw milk.

                    It used to be you could go to a farm and buy raw milk direct from the farmer in at least some states, but you couldn't buy it at the grocery. That's changed in at least some states now.

                    And worst of all, apparently when my back was turned, Young's lost its license to sell raw milk.

                    /me saaaad . . .

                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                      I remember back in the 70's in CT we went to the farm down the road and got a gallon for a buck, BYOB, them war the days.

                      Now it's legal for retail and farm sales in CT, with proper licensing, amazing. We had to sneak and keep our supplier's location on the DL.


                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Your farm didn't happen to have the initials FVF, did they? That was our source for amazing dairy (and the best cat ever!) until the big fire of the mid-90s.

                        1. re: harrie

                          Oh, I don't remember, it was in Eastern CT around the UConn area 30 years ago. The farmer was young and a nice guy, that's all I recall, he had a pretty big dairy farm and sold milk to local dairies. We were never concerned about the possible consequences of contaminated milk, and as it turned out, there were none that we experienced.

                2. re: bushwickgirl

                  yes, exactly, BushwickGirl-- thanks.

                  there are areas of the u.s. where you can go to the store and get a good 40%-45% glass bottle of non- homogenized cream, notably--a beautiful cream in color (not white), easily whippable by hand by an underweight child-- and where you can have a variety of choices of local dairy farm products including fresh and aged cheeses, cream-topped milks, curds, kefirs and yogurts, where local farmer milk cooperatives and small creameries are common and supply local schools and cafeterias with high quality drinking milk, ice cream and butter. . .

                  and there are areas where only crap dairy exists. the op unfortunately finds her/himself in florida. i don't think there is much there, as far as serious dairy-- but it would be pretty sad if the dairy selections in florida grocery stores were thought to be indicative of the whole country.

                3. You can make your own creme double by reducing whipping cream by half, adding a pinch of salt and chilling; or you can make sort of a creme fraiche/cultured cream by adding a few spoonfuls of good plain yogurt or buttermilk to whipping cream and letting it sit unrefrigerated for several hours until it thickens right up. This last is insane on scones and berries of any stripe. Great with fruit salad, with a little nutmeg grated in at the last.

                  1. In restaurant kitchens, we've always used "manufacturing cream" which I guess is 40% butterfat, while double cream has 48% (not available in the US.)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jaykayen

                      If there is a Smart and Final in your area I believe I spotted the "manufacturing cream" that jaykayen mentioned above. I'm in the S. Bay area of San Francisco.

                    2. I saw clotted cream in WholeFoods yesterday, imported from the UK though. It's not placed with the other milk and cream. It was placed with specialty cheese, creme fraiche, mascarpone...