Whipping cream vs. heavy cream

Burning Questions

April 05, 2006|By ERICA MARCUS | ERICA MARCUS,NEWSDAY

What is the difference between heavy cream and whipping cream anyway?

The Code of Federal Regulations defines cream as "the liquid milk product high in fat separated from milk" that must contain not less than 18 percent milk fat.

Light cream contains between 18 percent and 30 percent milk fat; light whipping cream (also called whipping cream) contains between 30 percent and 36 percent milk fat; heavy cream contains at least 36 percent milk fat. The more fat cream has, the better and easier it will whip. In the United States, 40 percent is about the highest fat content you're likely to find.

But that's not the end of the story. The government permits cream to be "adjusted" with concentrated milk, dry whole milk, skim milk, concentrated skim milk or nonfat dry milk. It also allows the following "optional" ingredients: emulsifiers, stabilizers, nutritive sweeteners and characterizing flavoring ingredients. A given cream's ingredients are listed on the package.

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday. E-mail your queries to burningquestions@newsday.com, or send them to Erica Marcus, Food/Part 2, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747-4250.

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