Yellowish part of milk, rich in butterfat, that rises to the surface naturally if milk is allowed to stand. In the dairy industry, cream is separated mechanically. Cream is graded by percentage of fat content. In the U.S., half-and-half, a mixture of milk and cream, contains 10.5–18% butterfat; light cream, commonly served with coffee, contains no less than 18%; and medium and heavy creams (the latter including whipping cream) contain about 30% and 36% respectively. Commercial sour cream, about 18–20% butterfat, is inoculated with lactic-acid-producing bacteria. See also ice cream.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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