Crème fraîche, lit. "fresh cream", is a soured cream containing 30–45% butterfat and having a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than U.S.-style sour cream, and has a lower viscosity and a higher fat content. European labeling regulation disallows any ingredients other than cream and bacterial culture.
Crème fraîche is used both hot and cold recipes. It is often used to finish hot savory sauces; with its fat content greater than 30 percent, it is much less likely to curdle than normal full-fat cream. It is also commonly used in desserts and dessert sauces.