Cream is the fat of Whole Milk that slowly rises to the top of the standing fresh Milk.

Historically, it was skimmed off to be used for richer purposes, like butter. The longer it stands, the richer it gets.

Cream comes in a number of preparations, mostly distinguished by the percentage of butter fat contained in the cream product. Many of the creams are interchangeable when called for in a recipe; the main determinants are: Does the cream need to be “whipped up” (with an egg beater or whisk), and how much richness do you want in the dish?