Cooking – Is Sour Cream Yogurt?

bowl of sour cream and fresh vegetables
bowl of sour cream and fresh vegetables

No, it isn’t. Sour cream is an ingredient that was invented in Eastern and Central Europe that is made when dairy cream is mixed with bacteria that produce lactic acid. This creates a thick tart-like substance. It is used for dips, to thicken sauces, garnish soups and potatoes, and come up with a creamy frosting. Usually, it is used just when a meal is about to be ready.

On the other hand, yogurt is obtained when there is the fermentation of certain microorganisms found in milk. There are many types of yogurt including low-fat, no-fat, frozen, drinking, creamy, bio, and Greek yogurt.

How Does Sour Cream Differ from Yogurt?

Sour cream is different from yogurt in a few ways, such as how they are made. While sour cream is made up of cream while yogurt is made up of milk. Both sour cream and yogurt need bacteria to be created. However, the types of bacteria each one uses also differ.

Bacteria used to turn cream into sour cream: Streptococcus cremoris, Leuconostoc dextranicum, Streptococcus lactis, Leuconostoc citrovorum, and Streptococcus diacetilactis.

Bacteria used to turn milk into yogurt: Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus bugaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus helveticus.

Sour cream is used as a condiment while yogurt is used as normal food to be eaten.

Yogurt dates back to more ancient times than sour cream.

Pasteurization is enough when making yogurt, while re-pasteurization is required to make sour cream.

What Are Some Common Cooking Substitutes for Sour Cream?

As said before, sour cream has many uses in the kitchen such as serving as a condiment for cooked and baked foods. Given its high-fat content, taste, and dairy content, some people may decide to use cooking substitutes for sour cream such as:

  • Greek yogurt (lower in calories and fat than sour cream)
  • Cottage cheese (it has fewer calories and fat as well as more protein than sour cream)
  • Creme fraiche (similar to sour cream but it has a milder taste)
  • Buttermilk (it has a similar taste to sour cream, but it is liquid in nature so it can be used as dressings)