I watch the food network a lot. It's my go to channel most days. Most of the shows use creme fraiche every-now-and-again. Some use it more than others. When the chefs use it, they say stuff like "you can find it in any grocery store these days" or "easy to find." Ummmmm....hello? It might be easy to find when you host a cooking show and are based in New York City. I have never, not one time, seen it in any of the grocery stores that I frequent. I've looked. Is it becuase I live in the backwoods of New Hampshire? Do larger metropolitin areas carry creme fraiche? Do the grocery store chains here assume that hicks like us wouldn't know how to use it?

I'm making a butternut squash gratin for Thanksgivng (sorry hubs...we are trying something new with our squash). It calls for creme fraiche. Well....crap! What would the holidays be without one manhunt for something. This year my manhunt was for this stuff that is (so I'm told) a slightly tangy, slightly nutty, thickened cream. I finally found it, but I had to drive to Hanover for it. Hanover is where all the less hickish, more refined well-off folks live. It's where Dartmouth College and Hitchock Medical Center are. They have a store there that is what I imagine Whole Foods to be (imagine? Yeah...we don't have Whole Foods here in the sticks).

Can you find it? Have you every wanted to find it? For a tub, which was rather small, I paid $5! $5!!!! Insane for fermented cream, if you ask me.

If you need it and can't find it, you can make your own. Here's an excert from O Chef:
"Most people make a facsimile of crème fraîche by adding a tablespoon of buttermilk to a cup of whipping cream, heating it gently to 110°F (45°C), then putting it in a loosely covered bottle in a warm place and letting it sit for anywhere from 8 hours to a couple of days, until thick. Store it in the refrigerator, where it will thicken further, and keep for about three weeks. You can also whip it like whipping cream.
But, Madeleine Kamman, whose formative years were spent in France, and who is one of the flavor mavens of our age, says the homemade crème fraîche is a poor substitute for the real thing. Since many people have not had the real thing, they won’t know the difference. But, Kamman says, if you run across real crème fraîche in a specialty shop — and are of adequate means — buy it."

Madeleine Kamman, whoever the heck she is, sounds a bit snobby to me.

3 People Raise Their Wine Glasses to Me:

Rebecca said...

I always watch and sit here wondering what the heck creme fraiche is - which I have to admit I thought was "cream fresh"!!!! LOL!!!!!

And speaking of Food Network... Guy is going to be in my town in January filming Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!!!!!! I am so excited and hoping I can see him - the place he will be is just down the road from me.

Fratzels said...

How can you get to the diner? can you be there in the restaurant? That would be so cool!!! I love him.

Rebecca said...

The newspaper just reported that he will be filming in January, but they didn't say how to get in.. I am hoping we can just happen to pop in for lunch that day, LOL!!! The paper said that the exact date will be released when it gets closer... It would be awesome to meet him and maybe get on TV too!

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