Popular across South American nations and indeed America as a whole, Media Crema fills a very specific niche, so finding a substitute when supplies run low in your pantry can be a real challenge.
Containing only 18–30% fat, it’s not quite as devastating to the waistline as heavy cream (36% fat), yet it has quite a thick consistency, making it a fantastic option for baking and for the general zhuzhing up of a sweet or savory snack — No wonder it goes so quick!
But when that Media Crema can does run dry, there’s no need to put your culinary plans on hold, for there is likely at least one of six fantastic substitutes hidden away in your kitchen somewhere, and I’m going to tell you all about them.
What Exactly Is Media Crema?
Produced by Nestle, Media Crema is an industry-leading table cream most popular across South America. It’s a compressed milk/cream blend with a thick consistency and a light, sweet flavor profile.
It’s a dynamite way to thicken a sauce up or make exceedingly fluffy cakes, and it complements nearly any food type.
Whether your meal consists of meat, vegetables, fruit, or all of the above, Media Crema can kick it up a notch!
And perhaps best of all, it’s a canned good, so it lasts for ages, and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opened.
Nutritional Value Table
|Condensed Milk (Best Overall)||130|
|Evaporated Milk (The Healthy-ish Choice)||90|
|Heavy Cream (Best Thickening Agent)||400|
|Clotted Cream (The Extravagant Choice)||140|
|Double Cream (Best Middle Ground Replacement)||70|
|Crème Fraîche (The Savory Option)||298|
6 Best Media Crema Substitutes
That’s enough of a preamble, I believe. You came here looking for Media Crema substitutes, and by God, I’m going to deliver them to you, starting with the most suitable option.
1. Condensed Milk (Best Overall)
Going toe to toe with Media Crema in both richness and sweetness, condensed milk is absolutely the best substitute if you want to minimize differences in taste and texture.
Being that they have the same milk/cream hybrid dairy DNA, it’s no wonder they’re similar, but there are some distinct discrepancies when comparing their nutritional values.
The big difference is the fat content. As mentioned earlier, Media Crema contains anywhere between 18–30% fat, while condensed milk brings these figures down to a solid 8%, but before you laud condensed milk as the healthy option, consider this.
Media Crema has no added sugar, while condensed milk has plenty.
How To Substitute
If you are looking for a perfect substitute for media crema, condensed milk is your go-to choice. It is lower in fat content and high sugar compared to the media crema.
2. Evaporated Milk (The Healthy-ish Choice)
Evaporated milk contains even less fat than condensed milk (6.5%), and it’s not as stacked with added sugar either, making it a slightly healthier option if you’re currently trying to keep things nice and lean.
Yet, despite evaporated milk being a little thin on its feet in the fat and sugar department, it’s by no means physically thin.
Granted, it’s not quite as viscous as Media Crema, but it’s still plenty gooey and condensed enough to fill in for everybody’s favorite table milk.
It’s a sure thing for any baked product or custard, and I’ve even had some remarkable success using it to make my own ice cream!
In addition, just like Media Crema, evaporated milk arrives in a can, so you can keep it in your dry store and save valuable refrigerator real estate for fresh foods.
How To Substitute
For your morning espresso or cup of coffee, you can substitute evaporated milk for the popular media crema. If you want a more robust flavor, use more evaporated milk. If you want a lighter flavor, use less evaporated milk.
3. Heavy Cream (Best Thickening Agent)
As you can glean from the name, heavy cream is a super dense, super sweet product used most often to make whipped cream, cakes, or anything that needs thickening or sweetening.
Composed of cream, milk, sugar, stabilizing substances, and thickening agents, if you’re trying to make a wonderfully rich sauce to drizzle over your savory dinner, this just might be the substitute to go for.
It’s also much more “whippable”, so if you want those meringue-esque stiff peaks from your cream, your search for a substitute is over.
Do bear in mind though, heavy cream is sweeter and much fattier than Media Crema, so while it’s a fitting substitute, if you’re watching your diet, you should probably keep it to an every-now-and-again treat and replenish your MC before long.
How To Substitute
Heavy cream is one of the best options if you want to use it as a thickening agent. However, use it wisely, keeping the sugar and fat content available. If you are watching your weight, you might have better choices.
4. Clotted Cream (The Extravagant Choice)
Consisting of 55–60% milk fat, clotted cream is, shall we say… the crème de la crème.
It’s by far the most indulgent and extravagant Media Crema alternative, so don’t get too attached to this stuff unless you’re comfortable gaining a few pounds.
That said, giving clotted cream the boot may be harder than you’d think, because that extra fat content makes it an absolute masterpiece of dairy goodness.
It’s excessively thick (dense might be a better word), impossibly creamy, and devilishly sweet.
Traditionally, clotted cream is the key ingredient in luxurious ice creams that deliver a taste of chilled heaven with every lick.
You’ll also find it sandwiched in scones alongside plenty of mouthwatering jam when you head out for a classic cream tea.
If you really want to treat yourself and damn the consequences, clotted cream is your best bet, although it may be too rich for some applications.
For instance, I would never use it to make a sauce to go on a savory meal.
How To Substitute
Media crema is a lighter, airier, and less dense version of clotted cream. It is used in desserts such as Italian meringue and has a slightly lighter color. Since clotted cream is a lighter version of media crema, it can easily substitute that. However, you have to be mindful of the quantity.
5. Double Cream (Best Middle Ground Replacement)
Double cream is a bit thicker and sweeter than heavy (or whipping) cream, but nowhere near as alluringly bad for you as clotted cream.
Containing 48% butterfat, it’s a pretty decadent, yet flexible option that can be used in all the same ways Media Crema can.
If I’ve piqued your interest, but you’re on the lookout for a whippable substitute, before you grab the heavy cream and get to work, you should know that double cream whips up remarkably well too, but don’t take things too far.
Get a little overzealous with your whisk and you run the risk of curdling the cream. It’s still absolutely delicious when curdled, but it doesn’t combine with other liquids as well.
How To Substitute
Double cream is thicker and sweeter and makes a good substitute for a whippable media crema. To use Double Cream in a recipe, use two teaspoons of unsalted butter instead of the cream. The substitution will give the same result, and the recipe will have a richer flavor.
6. Crème Fraîche (The Savory Option)
For savory dishes, I’d recommend heading straight for the crème fraîche.
Made from dried sour cream, the nutty and mildly tangy flavor profile of crème fraîche makes it a delight in broths and sauces, and thanks to its viscosity, it goes down a storm on a big pile of cheesy nachos!
Those who like to limit preservatives in their diet will also appreciate that the thickness of crème fraîche is the product of natural bacteria rather than any nasty additives.
How To Substitute
If you are running short of media crema, then crème fraîche could save your recipe. To Substitute crème fraîche for media crema, which is a lighter and more watery version of crème fraîche. In addition, Crème Fraîche has a much thicker consistency and a milder flavor than media crema.
What Does Media Crema Taste Like?
The best way I can describe the flavor of Media Crema is to have you imagine combining lots of full-fat milk with regular pouring cream and, of course, plenty of sugar — it’s rich, sweet, and altogether delicious!
If you’ve ever had condensed milk before, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Media Crema is all about, which is why condensed milk took the top spot on my list of substitutes; it’s very similar to Media Crema.
How Is Media Crema Used?
As a relatively neutral food item, Media Crema can be used for innumerable culinary endeavors.
While it’s fantastic for baking cakes, it’s not just a shoo-in for the sweet stuff. Media Crema is my go-to for all manner of meals, such as…
- Soup – Particularly cream of mushroom or butternut squash and sweet potato soups.
- Mashed potatoes – Double cream is my all-time favorite for making mashed potatoes, but I’d settle for some Media Crema in a heartbeat. It adds some much-needed moisture to the potato, resulting in a rich, creamy accompaniment the likes of which would do any festive meal justice.
- Macaroni cheese – If you thought cheese sauce with a béchamel base was tasty, just wait until you try it with an all-cream base. Is it decadent? Yes. Is it worth the calories? 100%.
- Fettuccine Alfredo – In the same way Media Crema can take a macaroni cheese to the next level, it can be used to kick an Alfredo up a notch.
Media Crema holds a very special place in our hearts, and of course, our pantries, but there’s no need to fret when we run out. Simply grab one of these amazing substitutes and press on.
You never know, you might end up preferring it to the table cream you’ve grown so fond of.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Media Crema The Same As Sour Cream?
Sour cream is a dairy product made from the fermentation of milk, cream, or a combination of the two resulting in a tangy flavor and smooth texture.
Media crema is a cultured dairy product made from the fermentation of cream with a rich, buttery flavor and smooth texture. They resemble a tangy taste.
What Are The Ingredients In Media Crema?
The ingredients available in media crema are light cream, sodium citrate, sodium alginate, disodium phosphate, carrageenan, including milk.
Is Crema The Same As Cream Cheese?
Cream is a dairy product that adds flavor and texture to dishes. Cream cheese is a soft, spreadable cheese typically made with cream, milk, and cheese cultures.
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