Sour cream

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Borscht with bacon bread and sour cream
Bliny with sour cream and red caviar

Sour cream , including sour cream or Schmetten is a puncture resistant milk product of cream - is sour cream with a higher fat content of at least 20%. In Switzerland, Austria and South Tyrol the word "Schmand" is not used; the corresponding product is sour cream (synonym for “sour cream”) with 15% fat as standard.

In some regions, "Schmand" also stands for sweet coffee cream .

Food law

Sour cream is also offered as sour cream or sour cream with 20–29% fat , in Russian supermarkets it is not solid, but creamy and often with a fat content of 20%, 30% and 42%.

According to German food law, stabilizers and thickeners may be added to the sour cream.


Sour cream is made by fermenting the cream after adding various mesophilic lactic acid bacteria ( Lactococcus lactis , Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris, Ln. Cremoris and Lc. Diacetylactis). The bacteria produce lactic acid , which in turn makes the cream acidic and thickens it at the same time.


In the kitchen, sour cream is for the enrichment and for thickening soups and sauces as well as for dessert preparation used ( sour cream cake ). Sour cream can also be served as a garnish or simply as an addition to various dishes. Sour cream cake is made from sour cream mainly in Thuringia , Hesse and southern Lower Saxony . It consists of yeast dough and a topping of fruit or quark, which in turn can be covered with a layer of sour cream, pudding or porridge . The recipes differ from village to village and are often passed on from generation to generation. Sour cream can also be used as a tomato sauce substitute on pizzas, and is often served in combination with salmon.

Etymology and Spelling

The word Schmetten is related to the Gothic Germanic word smeitan (to strike, smear, idg. Smei ) and consists in Czech as smetana for "milk cream", compare also Russian сметана and Polish śmietana , and the Slavic verb root sъmetati for "squander", which refers to the extraction of the cream layer from the milk.

The term Schmetten also forms the origin of the word butterfly , as it was said to have an affection for dairy products in the past (compare also English butterfly or scenic whey thief ).

The word Schmand / Schmant comes - if not derived from Schmetten - from the Middle Low German smand , which - like English smooth - continues West Germanic * smanþi for "soft".

In practice, the spelling Schmand has been used almost exclusively for a long time . However, the Duden of German orthography only included it in the 21st edition (1996) as an alternative to Schmant . After that, until the 25th edition appeared in 2009, the variant to -d was missing again.

Web links

Commons : Sour cream  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Schmand  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Kluge Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 23rd edition
  2. Jiri Rejzek, Český etymologický Lexin , 2001
  3. DUDEN - The dictionary of origin. Etymology of the German Language , Dudenverlag