Most cream on sale in New Zealand is known as whipping cream or “pure” cream overseas. It has 35% butterfat.
Thickened cream in New Zealand contains the same amount of butterfat but comes with thickeners. The amount of butterfat determines the type of cream.
To buy double cream (48% butterfat) in New Zealand, look for Lewis Road in supermarkets and specialty stores. Their double cream contains no thickeners so can stand being boiled without separating. If in the countryside, check out farm gate milk sales for non-pasteurised, thick cream.
Clotted cream, which is too thick to be whipped, is the cream of choice for scones and jam. It contains 55% butterfat and has been scalded. It can be hard to source. Look for Clearwater’s version in specialty stores such as Nosh and Farro.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, light cream contains 18% butterfat.
Sour cream is cream with lactic acid added to give it that sour taste. Use it in Mexican-style cooking, stir it into kedgeree or have it as a potato topping.
Crème fraîche (35% butterfat) is the French version, which is a little thinner. While there are bacterial cultures in it, there aren’t as many as in sour cream. Use it to thicken stews or casseroles – particularly stroganoff. It’s also lovely with dessert if you whip some icing sugar into it.