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USA heavy cream vs UK double cream

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I am British but sometimes spend a few weeks in the US. All I can get in stores there is "heavy cream" which is heat-treated and tastes horrible as a result....
In the UK we can get fresh double cream (which is, as the title suggests, fresh, and pasteurised, but not ultra heat treated like heavy cream). It has a higher fat content than heavy cream - it is delicious and readily available.
I wonder whether there is anywhere (dairies, delicatessens, farms?) where it's possible to get cream that hasn't been through the ultra heat treating process with the subsequent flavor issue?
Any help on this would be much appreciated.

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  1. I am American but spend a fair amount of time in the UK with my husband's family, and I do a lot of cooking there. You will not find anything here like Double Cream. Even Single cream is far better than American Whipping Cream.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dulcie54

      Thanks for your reply, Dulcie. At the risk of sounding a bit UK-centered, I don't understand why Americans put up with this awful stuff. I loathe the flavour of UHT milk etc, and heavy cream has that taste. My husband thinks the problem may be that stuff has to travel so far in the States before reaching the stores, and so has to be "preserved" by the UHT process. I cannot believe that there is not a dairy producer within a reasonable distance of any store or supermarket in the whole of Florida (which is where we usually spend time). Oh dear, I think I'm ranting. Sorry. But thanks again for your reply. And enjoy the cream when you're in the UK!!

      1. re: BevRS

        Florida probably isn't the optimal climate for dairying. Although the grasses grow, given the heat and humidity, it probably isn't as nutritious.

    2. It may depend on your location in the US, but I have no trouble finding heavy cream that is not ultrapasteurized or with added stabilizers, from local organic dairies here in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you're in a part of the US where there is Trader Joe's, they sell it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Thanks, Caitlin - that's really interesting and helpful. I have always thought that there must be places like the organic dairies you describe. We usually spend time in Florida each year, so I've just checked out Trader Joe's website - they have a store in the Sarasota area so I'll definitely go there next time! Thanks again for your help!

      2. I've only been to the UK once, and I know nothing about pasteurization or stabilizers or any of that stuff, and it is really irrelevant to me. But, the OP is right, as far as I can tell. It is impossible to get UK-style double cream around here.

        This is funny. I had a colleague and friend in from the UK a couple weeks ago. I treated him to dinner at my house one evening, and he returned the favor. For dessert, he had bought an apple pie from a local grocer along with heavy cream since, as he explained, they usually put double cream on their apple pie at home. He was looking for double cream but couldn't find it and got heavy cream instead.

        Anyway, I know a girl that will pour a little heavy cream into her coffee, but the only things I use heavy cream for is creme brulee and whipping. So, I explained to my British friend that we should whip the heavy cream, to have real whipped cream. By the time we got to dessert, though, we were both quite intoxicated and full from a wonderful salad and mushroom risotto and unwilling to actually put any work into dessert. So he just poured some heavy cream over his slice of pie. The thought and sight of the whole thing was a little unsettling. I decided to pass on such an application of heavy cream and ate my pie without adornments, although I did briefly consider nuking it with a nice piece of cheddar he had procured, just to show him a variation on the apple pie he had not experienced.

        I had heard of, but never seen, double cream, and did not know how it was different from other forms of cream. So once I got home I researched into the whole difference, and, going off on a tangential thread, I resolved to try and make some homemade cheese. It's on the list, below many other important food endeavors.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MonMauler

          Thanks, MonMauler. Dinner at your place sounds fun..... Apple pie and cheddar is not unheard of in the UK - also eating fresh apples with cheese.
          The thing about heavy cream is the flavour - it just doesn't taste fresh because of the pasteurisation process. Also the difference in fat content also affects the flavour. Do you know, the best cream I've found in the US is a good sour cream. thanks for your interesting reply - and good luck with the home-made cheese.....

          1. re: BevRS

            Hi, BevRS. You are always welcome to dinner. Hit me up if you ever make it to Pittsburgh, PA. I always try to prepare interesting and tasty meals.

            Anyway, I assumed that apple pie with cheddar was not unheard of in the UK, but my friend just wasn't familiar with such a dish.

            In researching double cream after that evening, I assumed that double cream would be so much tastier because of such a higher fat content. (The secret ingredient is fat!).

            Your comment about sour cream interests me, though. I do love sour cream, and I regularly use it; however, I'm curious to know where or what type of sour cream you sampled over here. I've always used BK sour cream (I think that's the commercial name, not really sure) because that's what my mother always purchased. Have you found another brand to be extraordinary? I am always looking to branch out...

            Homemade cheese may have to wait a little bit. Not sure if I'll get that far down my food "bucket list" before you're able to make it to my part of the country. I do plan on having home-brewing somewhat solidified in the short term, though, if you enjoy some tasty beer...

        2. Here's a link that may help you understand the difference.

          http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sauces....

          Here in France 'Creme Entier' is only 35 -38% butterfat. Heavier creams are hard to find.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Yank

            Thanks for the link. It was just the info I was looking for when I came across this discussion.

          2. Raw cream is extremely rare in the US, because most states ban the sale of raw milk and cream. Florida is one of those. Some states permit certain farms with certain licenses to sell raw liquid dairy products directly to the public, but that's a minority practice. http://www.realmilk.com/milk-laws-1.html

            The US covers a very different terrain and arrays of climate than the UK, and as a result its dairy practices vary a lot (consider that a good hunk of the USA is either subtropical or arid): dairy cannot be local in much of the US, so it's shipped hundreds or even a thousand more more miles.

            Ultrapasteurized (and stabilizer-enhanced...cough) cream is, sadly, the norm in US supermarkets because it's more shelf-stable, and frankly most Americans use it for purposes where they cannot tell the difference. Finding cream that has been pasteurized more gently is a challenge, typically in better food markets that charge a premium for wastage thereof.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Karl S

              Thanks Karl. Yes, raw milk and cream is also rare in the UK. Our fresh cream and milk that is available in supermarkets etc is gently pasteurised, so that the flavour is hardly affected at all. Of course the distances such products travel are much shorter than in the US. However, next time we're there I shall regard it as a bit of a challenge to see if I can find a similar product.

              1. re: BevRS

                And that gentle pasteurization (which, for American readers, is different from "regular" pasteurization, and of course even more different from UHT ultra-pasteurization) process is relatively rare in the USA, reserved for boutique dairies that sell very locally to a discerning clientele.

                1. re: Karl S

                  As far as I'm aware, there are 4 possible processes:

                  LTLT (low temperature, long time) pasteurisation - this is the best, but very hard indeed to find outside a few devoted local dairies

                  HTST (high temperature, short time) pasteurisation - not as bad as ultra-pasteurisation, but the cream is still brought to a very high temperature for a short time, which does affect the flavour.

                  Ultra-Pasteurisation - here the cream is basically brought to a full boil for a fairly long time, with predictable effects on flavour

                  Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurisation: in this process, I believe, using high pressure the cream is actually brought above boiling; the result is thoroughly sterilised but really has a very cooked flavour indeed. True UHT cream is typically stored unopened on ordinary shelves, unlike the other 3 which are usually kept in the fridge when unopened.

                  1. re: AlexRast

                    "LTLT (low temperature, long time) pasteurisation - this is the best, but very hard indeed to find outside a few devoted local dairies"

                    But it IS being done. I know of two, possibly more in New York that use this process.

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      I'm so glad to see that this discussion has taken off again -especially as we are planning to be in Florida in February.
                      Thanks to everyone who has replied......
                      but I think I will continue to struggle to find something like our UK double cream. I shall certainly seek out "devoted local dairies" - any help with this will be much appreciated and will also check out Wholefoods and other quality supermarkets etc. However I have tried to do this on every US trip (most recently to Hawaii) without success. Oh well - the search/challenge continues!

                      1. re: BevRS

                        I wish you good luck but I doubt you'll find what you want in any sort of supermarket, including Whole Foods. :(( If you can find a store that specializes in, say, cheese, you might have more luck.

              2. re: Karl S

                Not that it really helps this discussion, but I thought that you might be interested to know that in France there are now raw milk kiosks outside many of the major supermarkets.
                You can bring your own container or buy one. They're coin operated. Amazing!!

                This is all an effort to reduce the 'milk lake' brought on by over production due to too many subsidies to the diary farmers.

                No cream available though.

              3. You may be able to get non-UHT cream if there's a local dairy in your area that sells it (which you won't find in a supermarket, but possibly at smaller local groceries, farmer's markets. farmstands, etc.). This may be tough in Florida - it's not really a dairy state.

                Even if you do find non-UHT cream, it won't have the fat content you're looking for. The breeds of cow that make the fattiest milk are generally not that common in the US - American dairy herds have mostly been bred for volume, not butterfat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: benbenberi

                  Thanks, benenberi. This is a challenge - next time we're in Florida I shall work hard on sourcing non-UHT milk and cream!

                2. If you live near a Wegmans or Whole Foods, there is a very good chance that you will be able to find imported (from England) Double Cream (and Clotted Cream) there. They are usually in a fridge near the Cheese and not that close to the regular butter, milk and yogurt section.

                  Also, if you are interested in getting a better quality (Single) Cream in America, look for Pasteurized (and not Ultra-Pasteurized) Cream at places like Whole Foods. A few brands found in the Pennsylvania and NJ area are Natural by Nature and Trickling Springs Creamery.

                  Lastly, if you are really really hungry for the stuff, you can get Raw Cream in some states. For instance, Pennsylvania and California definitely has it, while places like NJ don't (against the law). However, you will need to go to the actual dairy farm to get it (if they carry it).

                  ================

                  I just noticed that you said it is Florida where you spend much of your time. Again, there is a Whole Foods in Sarasota, and I would bet that they have imported Double Cream there. Also, if you were interested in getting real, grass fed raw cream, you can find sources here: http://realmilk.com/where02.html#fl

                  Best of luck.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: DougRisk

                    Thanks DougRisk. Tell you what, though... the imported Double Cream will definitely have been ultra heat treated because of the long journey from the UK. Thanks for all your advice.

                    1. re: BevRS

                      BevRs, this is the Double Cream that I have bought at Whole Foods and Wegmans:
                      http://www.amazon.com/English-Double-...

                      The packaging says, "English Double Devon Cream created by Christopher Brookes is a genuine Devon Cream produced in the southwest of England. This rich, buttery spread is perfect on scones, muffins, fresh fruit and as a gourmet ingredient in sauces and desserts. C. Brookes Manor Double Devon Cream is made with pure 100% pasteurized milk. Net Net Weight: 5.5 oz each"

                    2. re: DougRisk

                      It's not a given that, if selling raw (unpasteurized) milk is legal in a state, selling raw cream will also be legal there. California allows the sale of both raw milk and raw milk products, including cream. However, in Pennsylvania, one can buy raw milk, but not raw cream. The only other raw milk product legal in Pennsylvania is cheese (if it conforms to federal law of being aged at least 60 days). Concerning raw milk and raw milk products, the US is a patchwork quilt of individual state regulations, which can be found here:

                      http://realmilk.com/happening.html#fl

                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                        CheeseMaestro, while I don't disagree with your statement about Raw Milk being legal versus Raw Cream being legal, I can assure you that Raw Milk is absolutely legal in PA.

                        I have bought lots of Raw Milk at:
                        Hendricks Farms and Dairy in Telford
                        3 different "brands" of Raw Milk at the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia
                        Raw Milk at Shady Brook Farm in Newtown, PA, and,
                        Raw Milk at Essene Market in Philadelphia.

                        However, of all of those places mentioned, only Hendricks carries Raw Cream and Raw Butter.

                        The Raw Cream is the hardest to get, since it must be sold on the farm...same with Raw Butter.

                        And, as I had posted it previously, I am very familiar with RealMilk.com.

                        1. re: DougRisk

                          Doug, please reread my post. I never said that raw milk was illegal in PA. What I did write was: "However, in Pennsylvania, one can buy raw milk, but not raw cream." I, too, live in PA and there are several dairies and stores selling raw cow's milk and/or goat's milk in my area (central PA).

                          It's been ages since I visited Hendricks Farm, but if Trent Hendricks is selling cream and butter made from raw milk, I assume that he is doing so "under the table" and without the approval of the state Department of Agriculture. As I noted, cheese is the only raw milk product (besides milk itself) that can be legally sold in PA, because it is the only one that has a standard of identity in the regulations. It makes no difference whether it is sold on or off the farm. The state wouldn't not have issued a permit to Hendricks or any other producer to sell raw cream or butter. I know that you're familiar with RealMilk.com, as am I, but take at look again at the entry for PA.

                          A trick that some people have used in states where sales of raw milk products are illegal is to sell them as pet food, since most states' regulations cover only human consumption. Still, that's a pretty risky strategy, and might get a dairy into trouble if the state determines that the products are not, in fact, being purchased for animals.

                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                            You are right, I did misread the part about Raw Milk, though, not Raw Cream.

                            That, you can still buy in PA, though, it is not that easy.

                            Trent is not selling the butter under the table, but the cream is a little more difficult to get. They had a BS run-in with the Penn Dept of Agric. that made them paranoid.

                            However, again, the butter is sold, out in the open, in the fridge, even after the run-in with the Dept of Agriculture.

                            Raw Butter, as I understand it, is illegal to distribute to outside conventional markets in PA, but it is not illegal to sell at the farm, with the proper sellers permit.

                            re: Pet Food

                            Yes, I have done that a few times.

                    3. We have a few small dairies here in New York (Evans, Grazin' Angus Acres) who have all-Jersey herds and who sell heavy cream. While not as thick as double cream, it's MUCH thicker than what you can find in the supermarket and it's pasteurized at the lowest legal temperature and retains a fresh flavor. Finding such a dairy might be the answer to your problem, especially given the difficulty in finding raw dairy products.

                      1. My experience with the USA is that it *can* be possible to get cream which isn't abysmal - but much depends on where you go. If you go to urban, sophisticated places where a food culture is in place, e.g. San Francisco or New York or Seattle, then such things are easy to find. If, on the other hand, you go to somewhere outside the main urban centres, in less-connected states like Idaho or Mississippi or South Dakota (choosing a random sample - I'm not singling out anywhere for any particular reason), finding good cream may be difficult unless you have reliable local contacts.

                        That said, there is absolutely no equivalent to double cream in the USA, as far as I've seen. Cream with the 45-50% fat content of double cream is as far as I've been able to tell, completely unavailable and unheard of. The best I've seen is good "heavy cream" with 40% fat. It *is* possible to find that in "pasteurised" rather than "ultra-pasteurised" form, although it may take some searching again.

                        Inexplicably, cream labelled "whipping cream" doesn't whip - at least not very well; you'll never get it to the nice stiffness that double cream reaches in seconds. Proper American heavy cream whips reasonably effectively though.
                        In terms of widely distributed brands, the best I've found is Organic Valley; you have to be careful because some is pasteurised but some is ultra-pasteurised, and the cartons look identical other than this wording (you want the former, not the latter).

                        At the risk of sounding chauvinistic, I'd claim British cream is quite simply the best in the world - and the best farms here provide cream against which even the best of foreign competition has no chance. We have higher expectations here with respect to cream - in much the same way as, e.g. expectations in Italy are higher with respect to coffee or tomatoes, or for that matter expectations in America are higher with respect to sweetcorn - and these expectations are borne out in better general standards.

                        1. I hope this might be helpful. You can buy imported Devon cream and clotted cream from Bristol Farms grocery stores in Southern California and one in San Francisco. There are many Brisitsh expats living near LA with British items in upscale groceries and British Specialty stores. You could also buy them and tons of items at online British food shops.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: Melthomas

                            Thank you so much for your reply.
                            But... imported Devon Cream and clotted cream are ultra pasteurised (heat treated) - like US cream. Because of this they have a very long shelf life (so can be produced in the UK and exported all over the world - including to the US)

                            However... In the UK we can buy fresh (ie not ultra heat treated) cream - and this is a completely different product. It has a much higher fat content and (so far as I'm aware) is not available in the US...
                            but thanks again for your help
                            All good wishes
                            Bev.

                            1. re: BevRS

                              The fat content & ultra-pasteurization are separate issues.

                              Pasteurization is a health-and-safety regulatory requirement, and ultra-pasteurization has become the commercial standard, largely because it's efficient for large operations and the product stays fresh longer. Small dairies sometimes use the non-ultra pasteurization process -- research your local area to find out which producers are doing that and what markets carry them.

                              The fat content of cream is largely a result of breeding.Most American dairy cattle are Holsteins (the familiar black-and-white cow) -- they produce large volumes of relatively low-fat milk, so they're strongly preferred commercially. Jersey and Guernsey cows give very fatty milk: they're your source of the really thick cream, but they're not so common, and that really thick cream has virtually no commercial market in the US. Again, small dairies (esp. hobby farms) that don't depend on sales volume are more likely to produce it.

                              1. re: benbenberi

                                One thing I'm curious about is why thick cream has no market in the USA. In terms of indulgence, it has few peers, and I find it hard to imagine that many Americans would really prefer "whipping" cream to double cream if they were given the choice, except for recipe formulations where the fat content might really matter in terms of final result.

                                1. re: AlexRast

                                  My speculation: summer (peak grazing season, peak dairy season before industrialization) in most of the USA is far longer and hotter than the British Isles (even northern New England regularly reaches well into the 90sF in the summer). Cream production that was natural to the climate of the British Isles is much less so in much of the USA. At the time home refrigeration became more common in the US, the industrial exigencies of the mid-20th century probably meant that industry was uninterested in creating demand for such a product.

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    That's an interesting theory and let's not forget terroir's contribution to flavor. Also, our culture's ethnic diversity has had a major impact on our cuisine. The only ethnic group I can think of offhand with cuisine in which dairy (not talking cheese here but milk, cream, yogurt, and butter) figures prominently is the Indians but I don't think cream on its own or as a dressing is consumed among them. Clotted and double cream might not have taken off here because the British majority here was rapidly superseded by groups whose cuisine didn't include it.

                                    I saw, on a trip to Sahadi's last summer, a poster indicating that commercially produced kaymak could be bought there. It wasn't in stock at the time but for those seeking more or less solid cream, you might be able to find this product in a Middle Eastern grocery.

                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                      Well, don't forget the considerable numbers of Irish (who are not British, of course...). My Irish grandmother grew up on a dairy farm in the wastes of northern Leitrim in the late 19th century. She had a nose for quality of milk, butter and cream.

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        Heaven forbid we should forget them! Which brings me back to an Irish (complete with brogue) friend's assertion that soda bread is traditionally made with sour whole milk, not buttermilk (although of course it can be and often is). She grew up on a farm and her mother always put aside part of the daily milking to sour for baking, which of course included bread. But I don't think double or clotted cream play much of a part in the cuisine of Eire (maybe it's different in the north).

                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                          It probably depended on whether you were on a dairy farm or not, and what you were selling versus keeping. Buttermilk, the ur food of Ireland, was the leavings from churning butter, so the family that churned had more access to it. My grandmother certainly grew up drinking it, at least in the warmer grazing months (butter, of course, is a way to preserve milk...).

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            "Ur food""--I love it!
                                            My friend's mom made her own butter as well so of course had churn buttermilk (we can get it in Manhattan!). But I'm guessing it wasn't enough for baking so they might have just drunk it. My guess is that the skim milk that was separated from the cream that was churned went to the hogs (we're getting OT).

                                          2. re: MacGuffin

                                            I can aver that this is true. My grandmother on my mum's side was Irish and soda bread was something we grew up with. Sour whole milk lends a slightly sweeter, richer flavour to the soda bread.

                                            That said, there are plenty of Irish using buttermilk to make soda bread. Or even plain sweet milk. It's the sort of thing you make with what you have on hand at the time.

                                            1. re: AlexRast

                                              You need the from the something sour to react with the soda, though. I sour my own whole milk when I make soda or brown bread. :)

                                        2. re: MacGuffin

                                          Hi MacGuffin,

                                          I am an Indian from West Bengal. Cream, very thick heavy cream is indeed an IMPORTANT item of everyday food. However, with each passing day, these traditions are becoming extinct owing to expense and the decline of traditional ways of cooking and eating.

                                          If you research the terms MALAI, BALAI, noni and navani you will immediately understand the significance of HEAVY CREAM, CLOTTED CREAM,CULTURED CREAM, and the differences recognized among the various creams and butters created from them and that churned from yoghurt and fresh sweet cream. This goes to the heart of Indian existence, in some ways, and I shall leave you to explore WHY I say so! The derivative BUTTERMILKS are indeed the other staples of the diet of the west and the north. Where rainfall is unpredictable, the cow is most demonstrably the giver of life, the single factor that allows human beings to exist in a very harsh land. This is not understood in the West, nor the fact why the cow is so revered.

                                          However,take a look at the cooking shows on TV: Examine the thick yellow cream ORDINARILY used in Pakistan, in Punjab, in Uttar Pradesh,even Bangladesh, in ordinary cooking such as in palak paneer, and you will understand why such dishes became justly famous. No comparison can be made to their horrid restaurant descendants. This sort of cream is sold in soft golden masses on green leaves of Shorea robusta, or banana; it is not liquid at all but more like very soft butter!!

                                          Clotted cream is a distinct creature, skimmed from milk that has been very carefully warmed very gently to barely activate the kappa proteins in cow's milk; a structure trapping the fat emerges and is carefully skimmed.

                                          We also make "cream foam" during winter nights from raw milk, which is relished with a sprinkling of chopped nuts.

                                          This is not the place to dwell on the different types of HEAVY cream and the manipulation of textures used in Bengali sweets, although these are becoming extinct as time passes. Shorbhaja and shorpuria of Murshidabad and Krishnanagar, are end products of a textured type of CLOTTED cream.

                                          Sadly, most writers of the well-known volumes on Indian cooking have little knowledge of the dairy culture of India and little specific insights into the regional cuisines. Even those who write about regional cuisines seem to be at some remove from the heart of their own cultures, somewhat deracinated and thus able to connect effectively with their Western audience. That degree of deracination appears to be a necessary condition for communication, but also means a corresponding loss of accuracy and authenticity.

                                          1. re: GTM

                                            "The only ethnic group I can think of offhand with cuisine in which dairy (not talking cheese here but milk, cream, yogurt, and butter) figures prominently is the Indians but I don't think cream on its own or as a dressing is consumed among them."

                                            That's an extremely interesting post but doesn't it confirm what I posted? Most of what you cited are cooked dishes, no? That was my point.

                              2. I'm a Brit living in Florida and there is nothing like British cream. It doesn't exist in the US in a form that we are used to.

                                1. whole foods carries an organic heavy cream that is pasteurized but not homogenized. it appears much fresher than standard heavy cream

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: fara

                                    I don't think homogenization really applies to cream per se. Isn't its purpose to combine the liquid and fat (i.e. cream) components of milk so that they don't separate? Cream is just what it is.

                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                      I get what you mean but this cream labeled heavy cream is not homogenous, there's a gunky almost solid layer at the top and it doesn't distribute evenly when shaken. on the container it says pasteurized heavy cream. I don't know the details of milk pasteurization but this cream has a short sell by date and goes bad less than a week after opening. also tastes great.

                                      1. re: fara

                                        Yes but "pasteurized" refers to heating. I'm pretty sure homogenization only refers to whole milk--you don't see it on containers of cream, skim milk, low-fat milk, etc.

                                  2. I realize this thread is over 2 years old, but having scanned the majority of the posts, I'd like to share some info...

                                    Most supermarket milk you buy in America will be pasteurized AND homogenized. The thing that stops us from getting really thick cream is that it is no longer possible for us to put a large container of UN-HOMOGENIZED milk in the fridge and let the cream rise to the top. The longer un-homogenized milk sits, the more cream molecules rise, the thicker the cream becomes. I know! As a kid growing up, we had un-pasteurized un-homogenized milk from a friend's dairy BEFORE it went into the pasteurization vat, from whence it was transported by truck to be homogenized and bottled for market. My mom would store several gallon jugs of raw milk in the refrigerator and it was the rule that we could help ourselves to a glass of milk, but ONLY if we shook the bottle first! That redistributes the cream, or is a form of "do it yourself" homogenization. I ALWAYS "forgot" (accidentally on purpose) to shake the milk container for my breakfast corn flakes when there were fresh strawberries to add. Some things are worth a spanking. '-)

                                    Point is, you need to see if you can find a source that sells either raw whole milk so that you can let the cream rise for yourself, or see if you can find pasteurized milk that is not homogenized, which I have not seen in markets for more than a half century.

                                    Good luck!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      It's pretty easy to get non-homogenized milk in NYC, and it's especially wonderful if it's thermized. You can't clabber it but the flavor is similar to that of raw.

                                    2. When I was a lad growing up in Illinois in the 1940s and '50s, we never had any double cream, of course, but the cream we did have was of a pale ivory hue, sweet and rich, whether it came as bottled cream or atop the bottle of pasteurized (NOT homogenized) milk. In strawberry season our main treat was shortcakes of sweet biscuit, split and both filled and topped with cut-up and macerated berries, then served in shallow soup plates with unwhipped cream poured over. I liked the cream-soaked biscuit left for last maybe better than the first part …

                                      That would not be possible now, unless I were a dairy farmer and kept some cream out of what I'd sold to the co-op, as my Uncle Dave did (along with selling cream and butter out the back door at night to a few neighbors). Along with the demise of dozens of dairy companies, all swallowed up by this or that conglomerate, has come the shortening of the products list. Plain pasteurized milk, coffee cream, churned buttermilk, genuinely thick cream, all gone except where old practices have been preserved or revived. Altadena, California's last major producer of raw milk, finally had to go completely pasteurized after the state kept racheting up the testing requirements.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        Will, you're making me think about moseyin' on up the road and buyin' me some raw milk from that there local dairy! (See? Even 4th generation native born Californians can learn to write with a fake Texas accent!)

                                        When I was a kid, my mother used to make GREAT pie dough from scratch (incredibly flaky stuff made with beef suet sheets), roll it out, pile a cored apple in the center, pack the core with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and a ton of butter, wrap the apples in the pie dough and bake. She called them apple dumplings and served them warm in a soup plate with CREAM that floated to the top of our milk for breakfast on Sundays.

                                        She also made strawberry short cake EXACTLY like you're talking about! See? See? We are soooooooo lucky to have such memories! And yeah, Babe, I know you're just a kid compared to me. '-)

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          AND I notice you both survived to reminisce despite a lack of pasteurization (as has my 87 year-old father).