A standard fare in France, this thick, creamy cultured cream is used like sour cream is in the USA. Crème fraîche is quite easy to culture at home and is a real treat on the table.
Here are some reasons you might want to add this to your culturing repertoire:
It has a delicious slight sour tang in flavor that is creamy, with a mild nuttiness that is less tart than sour cream.
It can be made into whipped cream or butter with ease since it is based in heavy cream.
It doesn't separate or curdle when heated which is ideal when you place a dollop on top of hot cobblers or stews.
You can make it very easily at home. Click this link to see the various methods.
The bacteria in the cream actually aids in preservation so it tends to keep fresh in the refrigerator longer than milk or cream.
It is great with just about everything but consider serving it with smoked salmon (instead of cream cheese) or using it to thicken pan sauces. Try replacing some of the butter in mashed potatoes with a bit of crême fraîche. Add a dollop to soup, stew, or stir-fried vegetables.
Any place you use heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, or even butter, use crême fraîche as a partial or full replacement.