Tips for choosing crème fraîche in Normandy

Tips for choosing crème fraîche in Normandy

Oh so creamy…

The best place to buy your crème fraîche is at a local market in Normandy. I always buy mine from the market in Bourneville, near Pont Audemer, on a Sunday morning. Madame will you ask you the size of carton you would like (petit, moyen ou grand) and whether you want crème fraîche liquide or épaisse. The crème fraîche liquide is pouring cream and crème fraîche épaisse is the classic thick crème fraîche that is more common in the UK. The farm-produced crème fraîche that you find on markets doesn’t contain any preservatives, which is what gives it its unique flavour and consistency . The downside is that you can only really keep it for a couple of days so the secret is to buy small quantities regularly.

Creme FraîcheIf you do want to buy some crème fraîche that will keep for a little longer or simply for convenience, you may prefer to buy it in a supermarket. If you do, your choice will likely be limited to crême fraîche épaisse as it is quite unusual to find the liquide type on the shelves. There are numerous makes of crème fraîche available at a range of prices. As with most things, the supermarket’s own brand tends to be the cheapest but you know the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ and, where crème fraîche is concerned, I think this holds true. You will notice that the most expensive crème fraîche on the shelves come in glass pots rather than plastic tubs and are local produce of Normandy. These are normally the best ones. One of my favourites is Crème Fraîche d’Isigny. And don’t forget to look out for quality labels, such as (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée).

Another tip: if the pot is see-through, take a look at the colour of the crème fraîche. Slightly yellower-looking creamier crème fraîche tends to be a lot more tasty than a bright white one.

Laura Henderson

Try this recipe using crème fraîche


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