May 1, 2010 10:20 AM
Mexican Style Cream
POSTED IN: Ingredients , Cheeses & Milk
TAGS: cream , crema fresca , creme fraiche , fresh cream , mexican cream , sour cream
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Mexican cream is rich, thick, tangy and slightly salty. It used to be hard to find in the US, but now you can find it in Latin or International stores, but also mainstream stores! In Mexico, you can find it in any grocery store, and there are richer versions in small towns and ranches, where the cream earns its name "Crema Fresca" and I bet you would feel like me: that you can finish a whole pint in spoonfuls. 

If you can't find it, you can substitute it for other kinds of Latin cream, such as the Salvadoran, they are very similar (continue for more information and a photo).

Mexican Cream 1.jpgYou can also opt for French Crème Fraîche if you can't find Latin style creams. Crème Fraîche and Mexican cream are similar, though the former is thicker and less tangy and salty than the latter. 

Depending on the dish, if it is used for a topping, you can substitute it for sour cream. Yet if it is used for cooking, I prefer to substitute it for regular heavy cream. 

In the photo above, you can see the consistency of Mexican cream, as well as its shine. It really adds another layer or flavor to so many dishes. 


I was at a local Mexican grocery store and they had something called jocoque which was tangy and lightly salted too. Is it the same thing with a different name?

Crystal | May 3, 2011 10:52 AM

Hola Crystal,
Jocoque is not the same as Mexican cream, it is a bit thinner and more sour. Both are tangy and a little bit salty!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Crystal | May 11, 2011 4:31 PM

Want to try your Tequila shrimp but cannot find Mexican Style Cream anywhere. I have found a mexican "table" cream. Would that be the same? Can I substitute heavy cream with some lemon juice?

Joan Wallace | December 12, 2012 9:20 PM

Hola Joan, You can substitute creme fraiche or heavy cream.

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Joan Wallace | December 18, 2012 6:09 PM

Hello Pati, I love your show and website!

I am confused about Mexican Crema. I know that it is slightly sour, similar to creme fraiche, and I love it. I actually make it from scratch often, adding a little buttermilk to heavy cream and letting it sit out overnight.

Is there a cream in Mexico that is NOT sour, like whipping cream in the US? And if so, what is it called?

Thank you!


Denise | December 31, 2012 2:01 PM

I substituted heavy cream in the Tequila Shrimp and it was fantabulous. Next time I am at the international market I'll be getting Mexican cream. I really would like to try your Enchilada Verde recipe. It looks great!

John Smith | January 1, 2013 10:27 PM