Unveiling Clotted Cream in America: Traditions, Regulations, and Where to Find It

Ever wondered what clotted cream is? You’re not alone. It’s a delicious dairy product that’s not as familiar in America as it is across the pond. Originating from England, this cream is a staple in British tea times and is often served with scones and jam.

But what exactly is clotted cream, and why isn’t it as popular in America? Clotted cream is a thick, rich, and slightly sweet cream that’s created by indirectly heating full-fat cow’s milk. In America, you may not find it in your local supermarket, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the details.

Key Takeaways

  • Clotted cream is a thick, rich, and slightly sweet dairy product originating from England, made by indirectly heating full-fat cow’s milk. It is commonly used during British tea times, often served with scones and jam.
  • The consistency and flavor of clotted cream is achieved through a slow heating process, which allows the cream to clot. The end product contains, approximately, 55 to 60 percent of total fat.
  • Clotted cream, also known as Cornish cream, has a historical link to the ancient Britons, invented as a means to preserve their milk bounty. The term ‘clotted’ refers to the clotting process that the cream undergoes while cooking.
  • In America, clotted cream could be found in high-end establishments for ‘tea time’. Stringent USDA laws require dairy products to be made from pasteurized milk, so manufacturers in the USA recreate the taste and quality of clotted cream using pasteurized cream.
  • The process of making clotted cream involves using unpasteurized cow’s milk, slow-cooking the cream for about 12 hours, and allowing it to cool, usually overnight.
  • In America, it could be challenging to find traditional clotted cream due to federal laws limiting the use of raw milk in food. However, substitutes are readily available in supermarkets, gourmet food stores, and online platforms like Amazon and Walmart.
  • Clotted cream is less popular in America due to its dense consistency and rich flavor profile, which might seem too heavy for some American palates. Also, American food safety guidelines require dairy products to be pasteurized, hence the preference for pasteurized clotted cream.

Clotted cream, a beloved British delicacy, has found its way into American culinary traditions, albeit with unique challenges and regulations. Culinary aficionados can learn about the production and regulation nuances on The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which outlines the standards for dairy imports and sales. For those seeking to experience clotted cream in the US, Eater guides readers to cafes and stores offering this creamy delight. Furthermore, Serious Eats explores the history of clotted cream and provides recipes for those adventurous enough to make it at home.

What is Clotted Cream?

Let’s dive deeper into understanding what clotted cream really is. Similar to whipped cream and butter, it’s a dairy product made from cow’s milk. The difference lies in the production process. Prep for this cream requires slow heating, creating a rich, creamy texture indicative of clotted cream.

Imagine a spoon of velvety thickness giving your scones and bagels just the right amount of moisture. Slightly sweet yet delightfully creamy, it’s something you’re gonna love. The luscious texture and the depth of flavor it contributes make it absolutely perfect for afternoon tea sessions with scones and jam.

You’ll find it interesting that it’s also called Cornish cream, named after the county of Cornwall, UK. A place reputed for its clotted cream. The cream gets its “clotting” characteristic from the heating method that clots or thickens the butterfat, thus bearing its eponymous name.

Making Clotted Cream

The procedure is straightforward yet time-consuming. The journey to get to the finished product values quality over speed. The process includes indirectly heating pans of unpasteurized milk. Then it’s left in a cool place for several hours to cool down, which allows the cream to clot.

When made traditionally, the end product has a nutritional punch. It consists mainly of fat, approximately 55 to 60 percent of total content.

Nutrition FactsAmount
Total Fat55%-60%

The result? A mouthwatering cream treat that’s thick, velvety, and rich in flavor. It transforms your tea times into a delectable, satisfying occasion.

Now that we’re familiar with what clotted cream is and how it’s made, let’s delve into its availability outside of UK, particularly how it’s viewed in America.

Origin of Clotted Cream

Let’s whisk back in time to understand the luscious clotted cream’s origins. You might find its connection with the past utterly intriguing!

The ancient Britons—described as a Celtic people who lived in Great Britain during the Iron Age—are said to be the pioneers in creating clotted cream. Yes, it’s not a modern day discovery but an age old sweet secret!

It all began in Devon and Cornwall, two neighboring counties in southwestern England. Cows were reared across these lush landscapes, producing milk of unparalleled quality. The Britons were innovative and sought to preserve their milk bounty, unleashing the birth of clotted cream.

The cream was simply the result of gently heating unpasteurized cow’s milk in a shallow pan until a creamy layer formed on the surface. This layer, once cooled, became the clotted cream we’re familiar with today. A delectable by-product of resourceful minds and necessity, it became, and remains, a quintessential part of British culinary history.

As for the name? Well, ‘clotted’ might not sound appealing now, but in Old English, it was a term used to describe the clotting process that the cream underwent while cooking. Quite literal, isn’t it? From then, its popularity slowly spread across the Atlantic.

Clotted Cream in America

Across the pond, the Brits brought their beloved clotted cream along when they colonized America. As clotted cream’s decadent taste and velvety texture gained admiration, it soon earned a spot at ‘tea time’ in high-end establishments throughout the states.

However, the USDA does maintain stringent laws around dairy products. They necessitate pasteurization, which is slightly at odds with the traditional clotted cream production since it uses unpasteurized milk. Yet, some manufacturers in the USA have managed to recreate the taste and quality up to a significant degree by using pasteurized cream.

Americans seem to have developed a taste for this piece of British gastronomic tradition – continuing to indulge in its creamy richness with scones and jam or occasionally, as a topping on desserts. Isn’t it thought-provoking how food travels and earns fandom?

How is Clotted Cream Made?

Do you fancy a spoonful of luscious clotted cream? You may be thinking – *how is clotted cream made? Sit back, relax, and keep reading. We’re about to delve into the distinctive method of creating this rich, creamy delight.

Originating in the charming landscapes of the UK, the crafting process of clotted cream is as unique as its history. The principal ingredient is unpasteurized cow’s milk. This raw milk provides the cream with an unmatched authenticity, retaining its natural, hearty, and broad flavors. However, in the US, manufacturing companies often use pasteurized heavy cream, creating a silky texture while keeping the creamy masterpieces flavorful.

The making process revolves around slow-cooking cream, typically in a steam bath or oven set to low heat. This process is no quick task; it takes about 12 hours to achieve that coveted crusty ‘clot.’ During this period, the cream’s heat exposure causes it to thicken, form clots, and simultaneously develops a nutty, caramel undertone.

The cream undergoes a cooling process, usually overnight. This stage is integral to its signature texture, as the cooling cream retreats to the bottom, leaving a thick, succulent layer of clotted cream on top.

So, with that said, let’s tick off the process steps in the clotted cream making:

  • Start with unpasteurized cow’s milk
  • Leisurely cook the cream for about 12 hours
  • Let it cool, usually overnight
  • Voila. You have yourself a tempting mound of clotted cream.

Clotted cream has cemented its reputation as a versatile and indulgent addition to various dishes. Whether you’re enjoying it spread on scones and jam in the traditional English afternoon tea or using it to add oomph to an ordinary dessert, one thing’s for sure – there’s no cream quite like clotted cream. So, next time you enjoy a spoonful, take a moment to appreciate the craft that goes into every creamy bite.

Availability of Clotted Cream in America

In the quest for clotted cream, knowing where it’s found in America is key. Your expectations might be a little challenged considering the rarity of truly traditional clotted cream in the states. But push those thoughts aside, you’ll find that a delectable substitute is readily available.

Since federal laws limit the use of raw milk in food production, American manufacturers resort to pasteurized cream to create a close cousin of the classic British clotted cream. This creates a thicker, creamier, and richer product compared to traditional whipped cream.

You may wonder where to get your hands on some clotted cream. Look no further, as American supermarkets and gourmet food stores have got you covered. Nationally recognized brands like Devon Cream Company and Bellwether Farms are familiar names in this field, offering jarred clotted cream that has found fans among those fond of British cuisine.

Online shopping? Absolutely, clotted cream is widely available on platforms like Amazon and Walmart. You don’t have to step on British soil to savor a bit of this creamy delicacy.

For the do-it-yourself cooks, homemade clotted cream is a viable route. A simple recipe with heavy cream and a low-heat oven can yield you a bowl of clotted cream. But bear in mind that your homemade version might lack the unique characteristics of the authentic British version, mainly due to the use of pasteurized cream domestically.

Gourmet restaurants, tea rooms, and bakeries across America are also notable sources of this creamy indulgence. Especially in establishments serving British-style teas or scones, clotted cream’s presence is almost a given.

Remember, the journey of locating clotted cream in America is a culinary adventure worth the journey. From supermarkets to online stores to DIY recipes, you’ll find many paths to this delectable British treasure. So whether you are in Los Angeles or New York, clotted cream is only a reach away.

Why Clotted Cream is Less Popular in America

In exploring the world of dairy delicacies such as clotted cream, the question often emerges: why is it less known and enjoyed in America? The answer’s twofold- tied in tradition and influenced by regulations.

For starters, let’s uncover the tradition aspect. Think about staple American desserts such as apple pie or New York cheesecake. They often call for a dollop of whipped cream on top, not clotted cream. American culinary traditions lean more toward lighter accompaniments for sweet treats. Clotted cream, with its dense consistency and rich flavor profile, can be perceived as too heavy for some American palates.

Moving forward, look into the regulations. American food safety guidelines require that dairy products undergo pasteurization to kill off harmful bacteria. The process of making traditional British clotted cream involves raw milk – a product that doesn’t quite comply with these stringent standards. It’s this discrepancy that has led to the rise in pasteurized clotted cream alternatives in America.

However, the constraints of tradition and regulation need not limit your gustatory adventures. You may find it more difficult to locate authentic clotted cream in America, but by no means is the search futile.

American brands like Devon Cream Company and Bellwether Farms have responded to the challenge, providing clotted cream substitutes that do their British counterparts justice. Or perhaps, you may choose to roll up your sleeves and go the homemade route, which can be an exciting culinary undertaking in itself. The hidden treasure that is clotted cream in America awaits your discovery.

The presence of clotted cream in America proves that there’s more to cream than meets the taste buds. Behind the rich, thick texture and delicious flavor lies a story of dairy tradition, experimentation and perseverance. Amazingly, even here, across the Atlantic, a pot of gold awaits you in the most unexpected of places – like the top shelf of the refrigerated section in your local grocery store or the dessert menu of a gourmet restaurant. So why not take a fresh look at clotted cream? You may just find a world of new possibilities for your culinary escapades.


You’ve explored the intriguing world of clotted cream in America. It’s clear that tradition and regulations play a role in its less widespread use here. Yet, the rich, creamy goodness of clotted cream isn’t entirely out of reach, with brands like Devon Cream Company and Bellwether Farms leading the way. They’re proof that pasteurized alternatives can still deliver that indulgent experience. So, it’s time to broaden your culinary horizons. Dive into the creamy, decadent world of clotted cream. Whether you’re trying store-bought versions or venturing into making your own, there’s a whole new flavor profile waiting for you. The journey into the world of clotted cream in America is just beginning. And who knows? You might just find this British delicacy in the most unexpected places.

Why is clotted cream less popular in America?

The popularity of clotted cream in America is less due to American culinary traditions that lean towards lighter accompaniments over dense and rich clotted cream. The regulations requiring pasteurization of dairy products are also in conflict with the traditional manufacturing method of clotted cream, which makes use of raw milk.

What are some American brands that offer clotted cream?

Despite the challenges and regulations, American companies such as Devon Cream Company and Bellwether Farms provide accessible pasteurized alternatives of clotted cream.

Is it possible to make homemade clotted cream?

Yes, the article encourages exploration of homemade versions of clotted cream, offering a chance for culinary creativity and the ability to savor this British delicacy.

Where can you find clotted cream in America?

Clotted cream can be found in stores that carry the products of brands like Devon Cream Company and Bellwether Farms. Additionally, through homemade recipes, it can be made and enjoyed right at home.

Is clotted cream a British product?

Historically, clotted cream originates from the southwest region of England, specifically Devon and Cornwall, thus, it is considered a British delicacy.