Media crema is half-and-half or light cream that comes in a can or box. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated until you open it. Keep some in your pantry and you’ll always have cream on hand to add a touch of richness to any dish that calls for milk.
You’ll find media crema in the Latin foods aisle of most grocery stores, or in a Mexican grocery. Of course, in Latin America, you’ll find it in just about every grocery store everywhere — even in fishing villages. Table cream is similar although not quite as rich. Media crema is not the same thing as evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.
I’ve never seen it in little boxes in US, but that’s often how we bought it in Mexico — and one box or can holds just about 1 cup (it varies slightly by manufacturer).
Unopened, media crema will last six months or more and can be stored just about anywhere. The solids will settle to some extent, so be sure to scrape out the container when you go to use it. Don’t just pour out the contents and miss the richest part.
Favorite Recipes for Media Crema
I use media crema in lots of different dishes. My favorites where it’s just SO much better than milk:
- Make your own sour cream totally from non-refrigerated ingredients — see my video of how easy it is!
- Clam chowder, potato soup and other cream soups
- Macaroni and cheese
- Make your own Irish Cream (like Bailey’s)
- Fettucine Alfredo
- Pumpkin pie or pumpkin squares
- Scalloped potatoes/potatoes au gratin
- Cream sauces and cheese sauces such as the one for Sami’s Shrimp Tacos
- French toast, especially my praline French toast
- Salad dressings, including this cucumber dressing or dip
- Cakes, including this oatmeal cake
The only bad side to media crema is the fat and calories — yep, unfortunately, it IS just like using cream. If you’re looking for a lower fat option, use evaporated milk — it also comes in a can and will last nearly forever. It’s not nearly as thick and rich, though. And you can’t make sour cream from evaporated milk.
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