Why Is Heavy Cream Hard to Find? #1 Best Answer

5/5 - (1 vote)

Why Is It So Difficult to Find Heavy Cream? Mothers of naughty young children in the Yoruba (a West African tribe) culture have a sneaky trick under their sleeve that consists of sending the children around the surrounding community to get “àrdán.” When the neighbors hear this, they immediately begin plotting methods to keep the children from leaving, most of the time by assuring them that one of them is on their way back “soon” from the market with the specific item in question.

The children are finally allowed to go back home after a certain amount of time, maybe after many hours have passed, with the assurance that their neighbor would deliver the “àrdán” as soon as it is ready. When I tell you that the word “àrdán” is a code meaning “these children are always bothering me,” even if the precise translation of the word is “stay still,” you get the picture.

Going from store to store in search of “heavy cream” might, in some respects, be compared to the difficult task of finding for “àrdán.” The only difference is that no one is intentionally attempting to trick you; rather, you are falling for an awful convention of names!

Why Is Heavy Cream Hard To Find?

The term “whipping cream” is often used in the retail industry as a synonym for heavy cream. Both heavy cream and whipped cream have about the same percentage of fat in them, therefore they may be substituted for one another in cooking without any negative effects occurring. It turns out that heavy cream, which is more often known as “whipping cream,” is not at all difficult to buy at the majority of grocery stores located throughout the United States.

Separated By A Common Language

Due to the fact that we speak more or less the same language, most people from the United States and the United Kingdom are able to comprehend each other. Except for the fact that, on sometimes, when we use words whose meanings vary just slightly from one another, we wind up being wholly oblivious to the fact that we are really discussing two quite distinct topics. In no other field is this more prevalent as it is in the realm of cooking.

In spite of the fact that both whipping cream and heavy cream have around 36% of their total volume composed of fat, the former is considered to be a lighter cream in the United Kingdom than the latter is in the United States.

However, the British have an advantage over us since they have access to creams that are even richer in fat, such as double cream (which has a fat level of around 48%) and even richer extra thick double cream (which has an incredible fat content of 55%).

Because we have so many options for creams with a higher percentage of fat, our heavy cream is, at most, comparable to a medium cream. Therefore, if a person from the United Kingdom were to go into a store in the United States, he or she could be confused. If someone came to the U.S. in search of heavy cream, they would be quite disappointed. It is easy to see why the British believe that Americans do not “do” heavy cream.

Fat Content And Common Name of the Cream

  • 18% fat content – single cream (UK)
  • 20% of fat, otherwise known as light cream (US)
  • Whipping cream has a fat level of between 30 and 36 percent (UK & US)
  • Heavy cream has a fat level of 36%. (US)
  • 48% fat content – double cream (UK)
  • Extra thick double cream with a fat level of 55% (UK)

It is obvious that single cream and light cream may serve as suitable replacements for one another in the context of culinary recipes; nevertheless, if you want to substitute whipping cream for heavy cream, you will need to exercise caution and do the necessary research. It is imperative that you choose a whipping cream that has a fat level of 36%, since this is functionally similar to using heavy cream.

Why The Amount Of Fat In Cream Matters

In light of the jumble of names, which are designed to perplex and baffle those who aren’t paying attention, my strategy for locating the required cream is to cut through the ambiguity and focus just on the percentage of fat it contains.

It is a straightforward and fail-safe method for obtaining the specific kind of cream that you want for your recipe. But why is there such a big deal about the amount of fat in the food anyway?

Fat holds the substances in milk together

Without the addition of cream, what you have is simply milk. Milk is great for this and that, and there are a plethora of things that can be done with milk; nevertheless, you would never conceive of attempting to whip milk into a topping for a tart, for example, and there is a very solid reason why you wouldn’t try to do that. Milk does not whip well.

It has been determined that the component that is responsible for the cohesiveness of milk molecules is milk fat. When you come along and need to stiffen the milk (cream), you will be able to do so because the fat connects the water to the various proteins and such that are present in the milk and keeps everything together in tidy, cohesive layers.

If milk does not include at least 30 percent fat, it is almost difficult to whip the liquid into a solid shape, which is necessary for a variety of culinary tasks, including the preparation of cream-filled cakes, pastries, and other delectable treats.

In point of fact, if you want to save yourself the trouble of whipping cream in the first place, you can just jump the gun and go straight for extremely thick double cream, which is so thick that it can’t be poured. This will allow you to escape the hassle of whipping cream altogether. (Of course, this kind of cream isn’t commonly offered in the United States, so acquiring it may be a whole new and aggravating process in and of itself.)

Fat fights acidity and prevents milk from curdling

There are many sweet meals that include acid, and if you were to combine these sweet foods with milk, you would immediately end up with a really unappetizing, spoiled-looking mess on your hands since the acid swiftly attacked and curdled the milk. There are many sweet foods that contain acid.

Because milk fat neutralizes acid, it enables skilled chefs and bakers to combine sweet pleasures and creamy delights into scrumptious confections that are both healthy and appetizing. This is a blessing for human gastronomic tastes.

Amanda Agee, a contributor to Cook’s Illustrated, once made the insightful observation that “the more fat you have in a cream, the more you can do with it.” [Citation needed]

Who Decides Which Type of Cream Is what?

In the United States, this agency is known as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In point of fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides a wealth of guidance on its website to assist consumers in purchasing not just creams but also other dairy products such as butter, cheese, and of course, milk.

Without the FDA’s work to define and regulate pasteurization and homogenization, cost-obsessed dairy producers could be tempted to cut corners and put the public’s health in jeopardy by improperly pasteurizing their products. This is one of the most critical functions that the FDA does.

It is also possible for shrewd manufacturers to “forget” to properly homogenize milk in order to cause it to separate earlier than normal. This shortens the shelf life of the cream and forces customers to replace items more often than is really necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions to Why Is Heavy Cream Hard to Find?

Can I Use Whipped Cream As a Heavy Cream Substitute In a Recipe?

Both whipped cream and whipping cream are two distinct varieties of cream that should not be confused with one another in any way. While whipped cream is often used as a sugary and sweet topping for desserts, whipping cream is more commonly used in cooking because of its higher fat content. If you make the mistake of adding whipped cream in your delicate French sauce for your delicately roasted rôti de boeuf, it is quite unlikely that you will ever have satisfactory results from the combination.

Can I Use Double Cream or Extra Double Cream Instead If I Can’t Find Heavy Cream?

Some cooks prefer to use double cream rather than heavy cream; nevertheless, any leftover double cream is often served as a topping for desserts rather than being put to use in the kitchen. Take into account that you may pour whipped cream, heavy cream, or double cream. However, you cannot pour more double cream.

Afterword: Why Is Heavy Cream Hard to Find?

Heavy cream may be found on store shelves under a variety of labels, the most common of which is “whipping cream.” I have no idea why this is the case. The fact that whipping cream may be purchased in two distinct forms—”light whipping cream” and “heavy whipping cream”—only makes the situation more complicated.

The second option is not appropriate for use as a replacement for heavy cream, however the first option could be OK provided that it has at least 36% fat. Just ignore all the prattle and ask for cream that has 36% fat in it. There, mission accomplished!


Why are the stores out of heavy whipping cream?

According to CNN’s reporting, a scarcity of cream cheese in December 2021 may have been the result of a cyber assault. It seems that the lack of heavy cream is the result of many reasons, including rising demand as well as problems with the supply chain.

Is heavy cream hard to find?

One of the most accessible items in the supermarket is heavy cream in its many forms. It should be located in the refrigerator, next to where the whipped cream and coffee creamer are kept. Cream that is thick enough to be used for whipping.

What to use if you can’t find heavy cream?

The following are some of the greatest alternatives to heavy cream that may be used in cooking, baking, or whipped into a dessert. You can use these alternatives regardless of what you’re creating.

  • Butter and half-and-half together. …
  • Milk + butter. …
  • Coconut cream. …
  • Combine the milk and cornstarch. …
  • Greek yogurt + milk. …
  • Alt milk + oil. …
  • Powder made from heavy cream.