Milk gets talked about a lot. Cream is mostly orphaned these days, homogenized into milk so that it doesn't float to the top, banished from diners in favor of half-and-half creamers, and discouraged by the anti-fat brigade.
Cooks have always known that some cream products enhance specialty desserts. And, as I show in my Really Big List of Lactose Percentages page on my website, the more fat a dairy product has, the lower its lactose percentage. Let's take a look at an article by Lisa Abraham at Ohio.com on the various species of cream products.
To be called cream, a product must have at least 18 percent milk fat. ...
In recipes, cream adds fat, but it also adds a velvety texture to a wide variety of foods, most notably soups, sauces and desserts.
There are even fattier creams, found more commonly in Europe, but available at specialty food stores and some grocery stores here. Among them are clotted cream, sometimes called Devon or Devonshire cream, and double cream. ...
Double cream is a British term used to describe heavy cream that is 48 percent or more milk fat. It's just heavier heavy cream than what we typically get in the United States.
Clotted cream, also British, is made from unpasteurized milk which has been slowly heated, allowing a layer of cream to rise to the top and ferment, according to the Food Encyclopedia. Once cooled, the thickened, yellowish cream is skimmed off this is clotted cream.
We're most familiar with clotted cream slathered on top of scones and then topped with jam, English-style. It's also called Devon or Devonshire cream when it comes from Devonshire County in England.
However, according to the Food Encyclopedia, there is a difference. Traditional clotted cream is 55 percent milk fat, while Devonshire cream is about 48 percent milk fat, making it spoonable, as opposed to spreadable. ...
Creme fraiche This is a European favorite that is becoming increasingly popular in U.S. cooking. Its name in French means "fresh cream." Similar to sour cream, but a bit thinner and not quite as sour, it's used similarly to sour cream.
Those extra fatty creams probably have no more than half the lactose of regular milk.
Abraham also gives some cooking hints and recipes for the proper use of creams.