What Kind of Cream Should I Buy?

Sometimes grocery shopping can be confusing, especially shopping for cream. With the varying percentages and types in the cooler, we’re here to make sure that you buy what you need!

Firstly, lets talk about cream in general. Milk naturally separates into milk and cream. After pasteurization (the process of heating milk to kill harmful bacteria that would otherwise make you sick) the milk and cream are separated. Once separated, the cream goes through different filtration processes which results in the varying percentages of fat you see on the cartons at the grocery store. We’ve broken down the varieties of cream to help you understand them and figure out which type suits your needs best!

Heavy Cream contains about 38% fat. It is the heaviest cream that you can typically find in the grocery store. Usually used in soups and sauces (a higher fat content means less chance of curdling), heavy cream is essential to many recipes!

Whipping Cream, coming in at around 35% fat, is, you guessed it, used to make whipped cream! The high fat content allows this cream to change into stiff peaks when whipped with a mixer. Since the fat content is so similar to heavy cream, the two can typically be used interchangeably for your baking or cooking needs!

Light Cream, with a fat content of around 20%, can be used in coffee or drizzled over fruits and dessert. With the lower fat content, it cannot be whipped and it is prone to curdling – choose a higher fat cream for your cooking needs. However, it does make a great substitute for milk in your scrambled egg recipe!

Half & Half, arguably the most commonly used cream, is made up of equal parts whole milk and light cream. With about 12% fat, half & half is great for your morning cup of coffee or an addition to any recipe that calls for equal parts of milk and cream!