A crème fraîche between Vietnam and France
The crème fraîche (meaning “fresh cream”) is a classic ingredient of French cuisine. It is a must-have item in every French kitchen Being French, the founders of Maison Béjo obviously couldn’t resist to craft a signature product from their home country using local source – Vietnamese milk. But first things first…
What is crème fraîche?
A French must have
The French crème fraîche is obtained by separating milk from the cream. Historians suggest that the first cream was dated back since the beginning of the animal domestication. At that time, cream was extracted by letting the milk rest creating a thin layer of cream on top. But its use in France was firstly confirmed in Middle-Age, when it was mostly used in the making process of fresh cheese. The true golden age of crème fraîche in France started during the 17th century. The “sour sauces” from Middle-Age were considered old fashion and chefs from Louis XIV’s court started to create a more concentrated type like “heavy sauces”. The main element to link the ingredients to make these sauces is crème fraîche. This period settled some of the strongest bases of French cuisine.
Nowadays, crème fraîche is used to bring richness, generosity and tastiness to sauces, desserts, omelets and soups. It can also be used as a side sauce for meats or poultries.
Crème fraîche was described by the French chef, Paul Bocuse, who has three Michelin stars for 53 years:
“Without cream, it is not possible to work. You see, we are working with creams from Normandy, which are very very thick and in the end that’s French cuisine”.
What’s the difference between crème fraîche, sour cream and heavy cream?
As mentioned previously, crème fraîche is obtained by separating the milk from the cream. Even though, this basic step is similar between all these products, the making process is different which offers independent results.
There are two main types of crème fraîche: liquid and thick. On the first step of the making, the crème fraîche is fluid. The only action to make liquid crème fraîche is pasteurisation (to heat up between 80°C and 100°C during 10 to 50 seconds in order to get rid of germs). To obtain a thick crème fraîche (such as Maison Béjo’s crème fraîche), lactic ferments are inputted. Then, the crème fraîche is matured to obtain a thicker texture and develop stronger aromas as well as a slight sourness. The thick crème fraîche resists very well to the cooking process with about 30% of butterfat which offers an incomparable flavourness.
Heavy cream or double cream is cream with higher butterfat content (around 40-50%).
Sour cream is close to crème fraîche, though, it only contains around 20% of fat and has a tarter taste than crème fraîche. The main difference is that crème craîche doesn’t include any thickener agents (sour cream may contain rennin, vegetable enzymes or gelatin).
Making a Vietnamese crème fraîche
Similar to our other products, the crème fraiche was created by our curious minds. It started with a simple question: “Is it possible to use Vietnamese milk to make crème fraîche?” and the answer was simple: “Let’s find out!”.
Firstly, we split the milk and the cream. Then, we pasteurise the cream in order to protect it from undesired germs. Finally, we implement lactic ferments and let the magic happen.
And well…we found out! Vietnamese milk offers everything we need to propose a thick crème fraîche with lovely texture, a generous taste, a great butterfat level and above all, an awakening of our tastebuds just like mama’s food used to do!
The crème fraîche from Maison Béjo is proposed in 200gr glass pots.
The texture of our crème fraîche is thick and creamy with a pure white colour.
Its aroma is typical from the crème fraîche, a generous taste with a slight sourness typical from the cream and brought by the lactic ferments.
Maison Béjo’s Vietnamese crème fraîche can be used to cook thick soups (mushrooms, asparagus, pumpkin…), thick sauces to go along with meats or pasta or with fresh fruits and berries as well as desserts and anything you would like to add more generousity.
It should be stored under 8°C and can be preserved for one month. Once opened, it should be consumed within 4 days.