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Old 02-09-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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It seems like US brands of sour creme have gotten very bland and sort of gel like. Maybe its that "things were better in the old days" but it seems to be that sour creme used to be so much better, had some flavor. Dip a good brown bread in it - YUM!

I know central/eastern europeans and Russians have great sour creme - what do you do to compensate for the blandness and jello'y texture of US products? Do you doctor it somehow? Are there some places that import or make there own?
I was wondering if there was a way to...I don't know, combine sour creme with creme fraiche or yogurt, add some....?
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Not Russian but DW is Ukrainian - anyway I know what you mean. Of the domestic national brands, probably Daisy is the best, it's mostly natural. If you can find a "Euro-store" you may find products from Lifeway, they make a decent Kefir. Depending on where you are located, you may find Mexican sour cream, it's more like Russian/Ukrainian.

I certainly miss that Kiev bread store on Independence Square - I don't think you can get quite that taste unless you start with wheat grown there...
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Mexican cremas ( many kinds) are little better than the American sour cream.
What I am missing is a regular fresh white cheese like I know it from Europe...
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:44 AM
 
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elnina - are you thinking of sort of a good pressed farmers cheese? I had a Lithuanian friend who's parents had some sort of press and made there own. But I think finding good milk was a bit of an issue.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Sour cream in eastern Europe has a very short shelf life, as I recall. American sour cream is sold in supermarkets to people who only shop once a week, and has to be prepared with a longer shelf life.

I fondly remember smantina, in Romania, which became available in the middle of the day, as the fresh milk of the morning would not last because there was no refrigeration. so it had to be soured and cultured.

I buy Daisy sour cream, and the ingredient list says only "Grade A cultured cream"---nothing else, so I can't blame the addition of anything that adulterates it. It's not pourable like in Europe, and lacks the pungency, but I nearly always stir it into something else like Paprikas, so it doesn't matter that much.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Hmm...I never think sour cream, Russia/Europe.

I tend to think only of Mexican food as having sour cream.

Nontheless, this makes the most sense to me:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Sour cream in eastern Europe has a very short shelf life, as I recall. American sour cream is sold in supermarkets to people who only shop once a week, and has to be prepared with a longer shelf life.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
It seems like US brands of sour creme have gotten very bland and sort of gel like. Maybe its that "things were better in the old days" but it seems to be that sour creme used to be so much better, had some flavor. Dip a good brown bread in it - YUM!

I know central/eastern europeans and Russians have great sour creme - what do you do to compensate for the blandness and jello'y texture of US products? Do you doctor it somehow? Are there some places that import or make there own?
I was wondering if there was a way to...I don't know, combine sour creme with creme fraiche or yogurt, add some....?
In the olden times long time gone, USSR probably had the best (in the sense of good taste and minimum of chemicals) industrially produced food on the face of Earth, there are some pleasant side effects of not obsessing about shareholder's returns on investments, efficiency, etc.. In addition to that you could buy food (including non pasteurized milk, meats, eggs) from peasants. However, those times are long, long time gone. It's a wild crony capitalism outside, well connected and/or underground manufacturers would try every nastiness under the Sun to make a buck on the substances you eat. Peasants are almost extinct, those who remain can't break through distribution mafia to city markets.

Yup, old Soviet mass produced sour cream was immeasurably more tasty than bland American brands. But American brands probably are more sour cream like (not speaking of food safety) than post Soviet brands.

If you are not an independently wealthy type, growing your food/making your own sour cream is pretty much the only way to eat good&tasty in the US. Making tasty sour cream is the easiest "manufacturing" process one can imagine. You take a jar of the whole, unpasteurized milk and hold it at room temperature for several days. Sour cream floats to the top on its own. The longer you let a milk jar to sit the denser sour cream gets. Sour milk under a layer of sour cream is not a "spoiled milk" as many think, it's tasty, sour, fermented and naturally disinfected by all that lactic acid released during fermentation milk, it's very good stuff for your digestion. If you fill cheese cloth sack with fermented sour milk and let it drain for a few days you can make a European peasant styled cheese. Commercial sour cream is made by centrifuging unfermented pasteurized milk, that's totally different substance than natural sour cream.

However, there is a "small" problem - finding legal raw milk, it's an illegal substance in most of the states. I know for sure that Arizona allows sales of raw milk, but prices bite, $10/gallon of raw "organic" milk.

Last edited by RememberMee; 02-10-2011 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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If a can of anything from jam to sour milk says "no preservatives" it means one and only one thing in the USA, they jammed that food like substance with enormous amount of heat, destroying both taste, natural ingredients and microbes. So watch out for "no preservatives" pitch, unfortunately, no preservatives also means minimum of nutrients.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Sour cream in eastern Europe has a very short shelf life, as I recall. American sour cream is sold in supermarkets to people who only shop once a week, and has to be prepared with a longer shelf life......
That probably explains why American mozzarella is so rubbery it could have been made by Goodyear, and the feta as well.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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They are different foods and supermarkets generally only sell the processed kind.

I'm always amused when Europeans think that the only foods that are available in the U.S. are those sold in supermarkets which are usually over processed and unnatural. I knew a German girl who swore up and down that soft sandwich bread was the only type of bread available in the U.S.
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