Sour cream is a fatty dairy product that is produced with the fermentation of regular cream. The process of fermentation involves lactic acid that is either added to the cream with artificial methods or often it is present naturally in the cream. The commercial process of making sour cream comprises of the components including gelatin and gaur. Even few acids are also included for fermentation. Sour cream is typically thick and has mild sour taste. ‘Soured cream’ is also a culinary term used for sour cream. Some of the most popular sour cream recipes are Beef Stroganoff, sour cream dressing and banana sour cream bread.
History of Sour Cream
The history of sour cream is almost 50 years old and largely associated with the traditional cooking in German, Russian and cuisines of Eastern Europe. Traditionally, sour cream was produced naturally by turning the fresh cream sour. It was widely used as an ingredient in sweet and savory sour cream recipes.
Culinary Uses of Sour Cream
Sour cream is a vital ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes. The main use of sour cream is to make various dressings and toppings. Berries and fruit salads taste good when dressed with sour cream and flavorings. The list of sour cream recipes includes doughnuts, cakes, puddings, cookies and scones. Among the savory dishes; chicken, baked potatoes, salads and even pies are fondly made with sour cream. It is widely used as a flavored condiment or dips with nachos, potato chips other finger foods. Sour cream has many uses as sandwich spread and pizza toppings.
Popular Sour Cream Recipes and Their Methods of Making
Sour cream cucumbers, anchovy dip and banana sour cream bread are some of the most popular sour cream recipes. Chicken in sour cream is also a quite famous dish in global cuisine. Sour cream is generally used in cooking in raw form only. It can either be beaten or blended before adding to the recipes. In savory dishes, it is used as a topping. Sour cream salad dressings involve beaten sour cream with mild flavorings.
Cuisines Commonly Making Sour Cream Recipes
Sour cream is primarily used in European and North American cuisine. Baked potatoes and chives are traditionally served with sour cream topping in these cuisines. Various sour cream dips and condiments are fondly savored in these cuisines. In addition to North America, Central American food also make good use of ‘crema’ that is a variation of traditional sour cream. Crema is used widely as a vital ingredient in breakfast recipes. Russian, French and German cuisines are the other cuisines that have varied uses of sour cream in cooking.
Nutritive Value of Sour Cream
Though sour cream is a dairy product that is full of fat, but it is full of healthy nutrients as well. Some of them are as follows:
- Sour cream is high in proteins and calcium and helps in making strong bones. Calcium also helps in reducing high blood pressure.
- Vitamin A that is needed for good skin is also present in sour cream.
- Other minerals, such as, magnesium, copper, and zinc are found in abundance in regular sour cream.
- Reduced sour cream and non-fat sour cream are the good alternatives of regular sour cream as they contain very less calories.
- Sour cream contains a large amount of amino acids as well.
Buying and Storage of Sour Cream
Sour cream is generally prepared at home with natural fermenting of regular cream. Commercially sold sour cream is made up of pasteurized cream with the use of lactic acid and other components. It is advised to buy this fermented cream from trusted dairy shops. Packaged sour cream should be checked for ‘sell by’ date and if molds are visible it is not suitable for buying. Cream with molds is highly contaminated and could contain dangerous chemicals. Storage of sour cream should be highly effective as it is not fully fermented, hence required immediate refrigeration. Dishes containing sour cream should be consumed with in 1-2 days and can be kept in refrigerator.
Types of Sour Cream
- Regular or Traditional sour cream – This type of cream contains at least 12-16% of butterfat and is typically made up of lactic acid. Products such as, gelatin, guar gum and ranin are used to commercially produce the sour cream.
- Reduced fat sour cream – It is the lighter alternative of regular sour cream and include 40% less fat as compared to regular variety. Reduced fat variety contains milk also along with cream.
- Non-fat sour cream – Corn starch and carrageen are the thickeners that are used to stabilize the cream. No traces of fat are found in these varieties.
Sour Cream: Trivia
- Almost 26 calories along with 2.5 grams of fat are present in a tea spoonful of sour cream.