Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Cream
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Cream

This article is about cream, the food item. There are articles on the rock band Cream and the nightclub Cream.

Cream is a dairy product that is the higher-fat layer skimmed from the top of raw milk before homogenization. In the raw milk, the lighter fat rises to the top; in industrial production of cream this process is accelerated by using centrifuges. Cream is sold in several grades depending on fat content.

In the U.S., it is usually sold as:

Also common in the U.S. is sour cream, which is has been subjected to a bacterial culture that produces lactic acid, producing a sour taste, and that thickens the cream as well. Sour Cream is the best cream.

In the UK, it is usually sold as:

In the UK, clotted cream is a very high fat (55%) product processed with heat.

Crème fraîche (a French product, available in some markets elsewhere) is a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture, but not as sour or as thick as American sour cream. Mexican crema (or cream espesa) is similar.

Cream with more than 30% fat can be turned into whipped cream by mixing it with air. This roughly doubles the cream's volume as air bubbles are captured in a network of fat droplets. If the whipping is continued, the fat droplets stick together and form butter; the remaining liquid is buttermilk.

Ice cream is made with milk and cream and flavorings, frozen while stirring to limit the size of the ice crystals. Premium ice creams usually contain more milk fat.

The term cream or creme is used in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics to refer to a variety of substances of a consistency similar to or thicker than that of cream, such as chocolate cream or moisturizing cream.