is a dairy product rich in fats obtained by fermenting a regular cream by
certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, introduced
either deliberately or naturally, produces lactic acid, which sours and
thickens the cream.
Commercial sour cream
Commercial sour cream, made out of heavy
cream, contains from 15 to 20 percent fat, and gets its characteristic
tang from the lactic acid created by the bacteria. Sour cream often
contains additional ingredients such as gelatin, rennin, and vegetable
Light sour cream contains about 40
percent less fat than regular sour cream because it is made from a mixture
of milk and cream rather than just cream.
Nonfat sour cream is thickened with
Sour cream can usually be refrigerated in
its container for more than a month after the date stamped on the bottom
of the container. If any mold forms on the cream's surface, the entire
container should be discarded immediately.
Used primarily in the cuisines of Europe
and North America, sour cream is often used as a condiment. It is a
traditional topping for baked potatoes, added cold along with chopped
fresh chives. It is used as the base for some creamy salad dressings and
can also be used in baking, added to the mix for cakes, cookies,
American-style biscuits and scones.
"Sour cream and onion" is a
popular flavor for potato chips. Sour cream can also provide the base for
various forms of dip used for dipping potato chips or crackers, such as
In Russian cuisine, sour cream is often
added to borscht and other soups. In Tex-Mex cuisine, it is often added to
tacos, nachos, burritos, taquitos or guacamole. Hungarian cooks use it as
an ingredient in sauces and in recipes such as ham-filled crepes.