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What is sour cream

How fattening is sour cream?

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A baked potato with sour cream
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Sour cream has become a staple in most kitchens, kept on hand to make quick dips, thicken sauces, and of course, to top baked potatoes. Like its relative, yogurt, sour cream also tenderizes and softens baked goods.

What is sour cream?

Lactic acid-producing bacteria is added to cream to produce the slightly tart, thick sour cream. Food and Drug Administration standards dictate the butterfat content may not be less than 18 percent for products labeled as sour cream.

Commercial sour cream may also include rennet, gelatin, flavoring agents, vegetable enzymes, sodium citrate, and salt. Check the label if you suffer from food allergies or make your own homemade sour cream.

Light varieties, made with half-and-half (10.5 percent butterfat) and non-fat milk are available in most markets for those watching their diet.

Soy sour cream is not a milk product, but is interchangable in most recipes with the real thing.

More about Sour Cream:

Sour Cream Tips and Hints
Sour Cream Equivalents and Substitutions
What is sour cream?
Sour Cream Recipes
Sour Cream Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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