Crème Fraîche From Past to Present
The Larousse Gastronomique defines crème fraîche as "cream to which a lactic bacteria starter has been added which thickens the cream and gives it a slightly sharp, but not sour flavor."
Crème Fraîche originated in the dairy-producing regions of France such as Normandy, Alsace, Franche-Comté and the northern Loire. Fresh milk was left to settle overnight at cool ambient temperature to allow the cream to rise to the top and then be collected for making butter. The naturally occurring lactose-fermenting bacteria worked overnight to thicken and acidify the cream.