An amazing Russian dairy product – sour cream.
Until the early 20th century sour cream was exclusively a Russian national product. Miraculously, it did not spread to other countries. In Russia, however, it was impossible to find a single household without sour cream. Many Russian dishes are served with sour cream and in many others sour cream is the main ingredient.
How the Russian Sour Cream is Made
The origin of the Russian word “smetana” (sour cream)” is unmistakable. Sour cream was received during skimming of milk. In the old days people used to say “smetat.”
Here is how sour cream was made. Whole milk was left for several days in a warm room. In the process of lactic fermentation a top layer of milk – cream – turned into sour cream. Then this layer was carefully removed and placed briefly in the cold. That’s it – the sour cream was ready for use.
Dishes with Sour Cream
Without sour cream it is impossible to cook many Russian dishes. It softens the taste, reduces spiciness and bitterness and adds juiciness. Sour cream is added to hot and cold soups, meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Sour cream is one of the main ingredients in okroshka, fried mushrooms and fried fish, casseroles, dough for cakes. Sour cream is always served to blini, vareniki, stuffed cabbage rolls, pelmeni, pancakes and cheese pancakes. All main Russian soups are served with sour cream – cabbage soup (Russian Shchi), borscht, rassolnik, solyanka, botvinya.
How to Choose the Right Sour Cream
Nowadays in Russia there are many manufacturers of sour cream. You will also find sour cream outside of Russia as well. You can find sour cream of different fat content. The ingredients of Russian sour cream should not list anything other than dairy cream and sourdough. Sour cream may not contain any vegetable components, any vegetable oils. The most healthful and the most delicious sour cream is a product with a shelf life of no more than a week.
High quality sour cream will completely dissolve in cold water, curdle in hot water, have a sour taste, smooth texture and is of white or cream color.
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