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Mexican crema

Can this be substituted with something or made at home? I can't find any. It is for a chili rellenos recipe.

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  1. There are half a dozen cremas at my local Mexican market. The ones I've tasted have ranged from creme fraiche to sour cream with one that's more like devonshire cream in color. If this is for a garnish on top, any of those would work though I think most people would lean toward the sour cream.

    1. Rick Bayless offers several recipes for homemade crema.


      Easy and good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Becca Porter

        Thanks; this is to be mixed into the cheese filling.

      2. The crema I buy has sort of a subtle, cottage cheese-like taste, but I doubt you'd want the consistency of cottage cheese in your chili rellenos. I'd agree with econdido123 that sour cream or creme fraiche would both work fine as substitutes. I often substite crema for sour cream on baked potatoes.

        1. I've seen suggestions of either sour cream or creme fraiche, but I think the cremas I've tasted are more along the lines of sour cream.

          1. How's it being used? Most likely as a garnish, as opposed to part of the filling or batter.

            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              OP says it is to be mixed into cheese filling.

              1. re: escondido123

                Often the cheese filling is simply cheese - a stick that melts well.

                I wonder if just a small amount of crema is being used to moisten or bind an otherwise dry and loose cheese filling. If so, the type of 'cream' does not matter much.

                1. re: paulj

                  Yes, going to have meunster cheese, corn and a few other things in the stuffing. I am particularly drawn to this recipe because there is no batter and frying, making it much easier. Corn is stellar right now and if i can get my paws on some poblanos, I am going to be ready to go.

                  1. re: itryalot

                    In this context I think the consistency of the cream is more important than the taste. Crema is usually stiffer than heavy cream, but not as solid as typical American sour cream (no gelling agent). So it can be spooned over the shredded cheese layer, without draining all the way through.

            2. Your "midwest" location on your profile doesn't narrow you down much, and you seem to get around, based on your posts. ANY latin market will have Mexican crema. Too much sour cream in a relleno is not a good idea, crema is a much more neutral flavor.

              1. Mexican crema is usually labeled either "crema agria" or "crema de la mesa" or "crema para mesa".

                Crema agria is basically sour cream, the other two are Mexican table crema. The table crema is probably what you actually want. Creme Fraiche works great as a sub for the table crema, tho' it's been my experience that the commerical stuff is a bit thicker than real crema, the flavor is very similar.

                If you've got the time, then by all means, try the Rick Bayless recipe posted above. If not, creme fraiche will make a better sub than sour cream.

                1. I think I may carry around the recipe and when I find the crema (in and around my Michigan suburb or when I visit Toronto), will pick up the poblanos and make it then.