January 4th, 2011 | george | Comments Off on Sour Cream . . . from High Atop a Baked Potato
Nothing is more tantalizing or appetizing than a “loaded baked potato” split open and steaming hot, piled high with melted butter, crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, chives, and, of course, sour cream! This guilty pleasure, admittedly, is not the best for my waistline, but so very satisfying to my palate and psyche. Fortunately, all those components are available in either an organic or natural form from Albert’s, so my guilt is somewhat tempered by knowing the products are clean.
The production of sour cream is simple, yet it provides a very unique taste and texture to many foods. Originally, sour cream was produced by allowing unpasteurized cream to sour naturally, but with the advent of dairy production facilities, a more modern process was established. Today, lactic acid producing bacteria is added to cream to produce the distinctive tart flavor profile of sour cream. FDA regulations require an 18% butterfat content for regular sour cream. Light sour cream is made from a combination of cream and milk, while non-fat sour cream is made from not-fat milk. Stabilizers, such as guar gum and carrageenan, are used to thicken both low-fat and non-fat sour cream.
Sour cream’s versatility in the kitchen makes it a perfect choice for many dishes. Dips, salad dressings, and baked items (cakes, cookies, casseroles) can all benefit from the use of sour cream. Topped with sour cream, enchiladas and burritos are even more enticing and flavorful. Sour cream is also an essential ingredient in beef stroganoff. I could go on and on, but I need to break away from the keyboard now before my “loaded potato” cools off. Enjoy . . . I know I’m about to.