Incomparable Cremaby Patricia Mitchell
Ever wonder how the practice of garnishing (or with some people, slathering) many Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes with sour cream originated? It came about because sour cream is the, if you will, gringo equivalent of crema. Crema (pronounced CRAY ma) is to Mexico what crème fraîche is to France, and it doesn't lose a thing in the translation.
Not only will its tangy smoothness complement your spicy dishes (remember that dairy products, not water, are natural neutralizers of hot chiles), but crema is an absolute knockout when served with fresh fruit. In fact, the next time you make strawberry shortcake, substitute crema for the whipped cream, and you'll see what I mean.
Crema is easy to make and, as you would expect, the quality of ingredients you use will determine the quality of your end result.
This version is particularly good with spicy dishes.
A word of caution: This is not the time to try out the vinegar/milk buttermilk substitution. If you don't have any buttermilk in the house, I'm afraid you're just going to have to make trip to the store.
A bit more pourable, this version is excellent with fresh fruit, your favorite poundcake, and fruit pies and cobblers.
Discovering crema won't mean that you will never again buy another carton of sour cream, but it will add a delicious new dimension to some of your old favorite recipes.
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