Crema Mexicana vs Sour Cream – Know the Difference!

Published Categorized as Journal

Ever pondered the difference between crema Mexicana vs sour cream? If so, I’ve got the post for you! Mexican crema and sour cream seem eerily similar but what do they actually have in common? In today’s post, we’ll break down the differences between these two creamily delicious toppers as well as tell you what makes them so similar.

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Crema Mexicana Vs Sour Cream – Know The Difference!

Table of Contents

What Is Mexican Cream?

To begin, it can help to know exactly what constitutes both Mexican crema and sour cream. So, what is crema Mexicana made of? Mexican cream, otherwise known as Mexicana crema, is cream that has acid added to it (usually lime, lemon, or buttermilk) along with a bit of salt for flavoring.

Of course, as with most food, Mexican sour cream can be made in a variety of ways and may have different ingredients depending on who’s making it. Still, you can expect Mexican crema recipes to contain at least cream and one acid to help get it nice and thick. The flavor will be mild verging on slightly tangy.

Ways to Use Mexican Crema

Mexican crema can be used in a variety of ways. The following are the most common ways in which a Mexican crema recipe can be used:

  • Enchiladas
  • Coffee (no, really!)
  • Soups
  • Fajitas
  • Chilaquiles
  • Virtually any other Mexican food dish!

What Is Sour Cream

Much like Mexican crema, American sour cream is cream that has acid added to it for a thick and tangy condiment used to top a variety of foods. Unlike Mexican sour cream, you’ll find American sour cream on store shelves all over. When looking at the ingredients for sour cream, you’ll usually find cultured cream, acid, and possibly milk. 

Sour cream is naturally gluten-free and is an insanely popular dairy product used in the U.S.

Does Crema Taste Like Sour Cream?

Yes, Mexican crema can often taste like sour cream. However, it isn’t nearly as tangy.

This could be attributed to the fact that sour cream from Mexico has a higher fat content. This mild yet creamy flavor does well to complement Mexican food like tacos, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes.

Sour cream, on the other hand, will be a bit more sour tasting, with this tangy flavor being the ultimate pairing with buttery baked potatoes, rich salad dressings, tangy sauces, tacos, and more.

What Does Mexican Cream Taste Like?

Mexican cream is very reminiscent of sour cream but without the tangy aftertaste. Though it does have a little tang to it, it tends to be more subdued than sour cream. Thus, Mexican cream can be an awesome addition to spicy food without it becoming too overpowering in terms of tangy flavor.

Crema Mexicana vs Sour Cream

When Should You Use Mexican Crema, and When Should You Use Sour Cream?

Mexican crema is great when used in coffee, on top of soups, salads, fajitas, and other Mexican dishes. But it wouldn’t be as great when used to top something like a baked potato.

Having said that, you can substitute Mexican crema and sour cream for virtually any swap you wish to as long as you take fat content and consistency into account. Because sour cream tends to be thicker, it may perform better for certain dishes than others. In the same way, Mexican crema’s thin consistency may fare better for things like topping enchiladas, as it can cover more surface area.

No matter which you choose, know that sour cream and Mexican crema are very similar. Thus, which of the two creams you grab will strongly depend on your preferences and the dish you’re using it for.

Mexican Crema vs. Sour Cream

Still wondering about the differences between Mexican crema vs sour cream? Allow us to clear things up! The following are some of the most obvious similarities and differences between crema Mexicana vs sour cream.

Similarities Between Mexican Crema vs Sour Cream

  • Made of cream
  • Contains an acid
  • May contain milk (or buttermilk)
  • Used as crema fresca (fresh cream) atop a variety of yummy dishes
  • Both are dairy products

Differences Between Mexican Crema vs Sour Cream

  • Has less fat
  • Is tangier
  • Used more often for American dishes
  • More readily available in the U.S.

How Does Mexican Crema Differ From Sour Cream?

Remember that Mexican crema differs from sour cream in that it has a higher fat content and is less tangy. It also tends to be much thinner than traditional sour cream, though this is debatable depending on who makes the Mexican crema and what ingredients are used.

Crema Mexicana Vs Sour Cream – Know The Difference!

Crema Mexicana vs Sour Cream

When it comes to crema Mexicana vs sour cream, you should know that there aren’t many differences. Still, it helps to know that Mexican cream tends to be thinner, higher in fat, and less tangy. Sour cream on the other hand tends to be very thick, quite tangy, and a bit lower in fat.

I hope that answers any questions you may have about the differences between crema Mexicana vs sour cream. I have some other posts on the blog you might like!

See you next time!


Can I substitute sour cream for Mexican crema?

Yes, you can. Sour cream will work beautifully as a replacement for sour cream. Just remember that sour cream will be much thicker, and thus, may be a bit more difficult to distribute over Mexican dishes.

How do you substitute sour cream for crema?

You can simply use the sour cream as is, or, if you would like to make it a bit thinner, consider adding a couple of splashes of milk to make it pourable. 

Are there any Mexican crema substitutes?

Outside of the obvious choice of sour cream, you actually could also use yogurt. Both whole milk Greek and regular varieties work well. If you want to get the yogurt to be a thinner consistency, consider adding a few splashes of milk.

Is Mexicana crema the same as table cream?

American table cream isn’t the same as Mexican crema. However, Mexican crema is considered the Mexican table cream of Mexico.

Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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