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The History of Crème Fraiche

Crème fraiche originated in the Normandy region of France. In 1986, the French government bestowed Appellation D’origine Controlee status on the product, a certification given by the government to designate the traditional methods and standards used. Notably, it is the only cream to have this status. Crème fraiche caught on outside of France in the 1990s and is now widely available in the US and UK. It is sometimes used in cooking and baking, because unlike regular cream, it does not curdle when boiled. It’s also sometimes used as a condiment and frequently shows up in desserts, especially as a topping for berries, pies, and other sweet items. To achieve its mildly sour flavor and extremely thick consistency, crème fraiche is fermented. The breed of cow supplying the milk, duration of fermentation, and fermentation bacteria used can all influence the cream’s delicate flavor. Today, the world’s best, most authentic crème fraiche is made in Normandy in a town called Isigny-sur-Mer.

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