Crema (dairy product)
Crema, sometimes referred to as crema espesa (English: "thick cream"), and referred to as crema fresca (English: "fresh cream") in Mexico, is a Mexican dairy product prepared with heavy cream and buttermilk. Salt and lime juice may also be used in its preparation. Its fat content can range from 18 percent to 36 percent. In Mexico, it is sold directly to consumers by ranches outside of large cities, and is available in Mexican and Latino grocery stores in the United States. Crema is used as a food topping, a condiment and as an ingredient in sauces. It is similar in texture and flavor to crème fraîche and sour cream.
Away from the larger cities in Mexico, crema is sold directly to consumers by ranches that prepare the product. In the United States, commercial preparations of crema are typically pasteurized, packaged in glass jars, and sold in the refrigerated section of Mexican and Latino grocery stores.
Crema is used as a topping for foods and as an ingredient in sauces. It can be dolloped or drizzled atop various foods and dishes. For example, crema is added as a condiment atop soups, tacos, roasted corn, beans and various Mexican street foods, referred to as antojitos. Its use can impart added richness to the flavor of foods and dishes. It may have a mildly salty flavor. In Mexican cuisine, rajas are roasted chili peppers that are traditionally served with crema. The creaminess of crema can serve to counterbalance the spiciness of dishes prepared with roasted chili peppers, such as chipotle.
Crema is similar to crème fraîche in flavor and consistency. Compared to sour cream, crema has a softer and tangier flavor, and has a thinner texture. Some recipes that call for the use of crema state that sour cream or crème fraîche can be used as a viable substitute.
- Lorens, M.E.C. (1993). Maria Elena's Mexican Cuisine: Authentic Mexican Dishes Made Easy. General Store Publishing House. p. pt117. ISBN 978-0-919431-73-7. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- "Vegetarian Times". Vegetarian Times. Vegetarian Life & Times: 82. 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2016. (subscription required)
- Jinich, Pati (2013). "Pati's Mexican Table". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 135. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Bard, S. (2015). The Gourmet Mexican Kitchen- A Cookbook: Bold Flavors For the Home Chef. Page Street Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-62414-105-8. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Best Mexican Recipes. America's Test Kitchen. 2015. p. pt72–74. ISBN 978-1-940352-25-1. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Castro, L. (2009). Eat, Drink, Think in Spanish: A Food Lover's English-Spanish/Spanish-English Dictionary. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-58008-401-7. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Hae-Jin Lee, Cecilia (2011). "Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking". Chronicle Books. p. 96. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Poore, Marge (2011). "1,000 Mexican Recipes". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. pt775. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Valladolid, Marcela (2011). "Mexican Made Easy". Clarkson Potter. p. 55. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Bayless Rick; Bayless, Deann Groen (2005). "Mexican Everyday". W. W. Norton & Company. p. 220. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- Creasy, R. (2000). The Edible Mexican Garden. Tuttle Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-4629-1765-5. Retrieved May 25, 2016.