Conundrum Over Raw Cream

QI have recently gotten into making ice cream and other cream-based desserts and foods. In efforts to use the finest ingredients, I have been doing a lot of research on creams. I want to find the best-tasting and best-textured cream (or make it if possible). Do you know anything about this? In an article I recently read, it recommended using “unprocessed raw cream” and “European style butter.” I am unclear about what this means, what the differences in various creams and butters are, and where I might buy them. Any guidance you can give me would be very greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.
— Imelda W., Upper West Side, NY, NY

AUnprocessed raw cream may be available at health-food stores. Ronnybrook sells non-homogenized milk and cream, although it is, I believe, illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in stores. I used to get it some 20 years ago by going right to a local dairy farm — although I realize that won’t be so easy on the Upper West Side. European-style butter is easier to find; it has a higher butterfat content than American butters. Plugrá is an example of a brand sold in gourmet markets here. Hope this helps.
— Gary (who has no financial connection to any brands mentioned, other than buying them for his own use) Allen

Article © 2006 Gary Allen. All rights reserved. Visit Gary’s Web site, On the Table.

About Gary Allen

Our food history editor, Gary Allen, teaches food writing and various food and culture courses at Empire State College, has been vice-president, newsletter editor and webmaster for the Association for the Study of Food and Society. His books include The Resource Guide for Food Writers, The Herbalist in the Kitchen, The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and the anthology Human Cuisine.
His latest book, Herbs: A Global History, a volume in The Edible Series of Reaktion Press, will be published in May 2012. He’s currently at work on another book for the same series—on sausage. Visit him at his website, On the Table, and blog, Just Served.

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