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Figuring out milk fat percentages

First let me say that I’m totally stupid when it comes to math conversions. :blush: So I really need help here.

How do you determine the milk fat content of a diary product in terms of percentages? In other words, if a recipe calls for a cream with 18-20% milk fat, how can you tell from the label?

OK, now I’ll get more specific: I have a recipe that calls for “light cream.” As far as I can tell there is no light cream available in Los Angeles. :suprise: No kidding. I had to Google it to figure out what it was myself. Here’s a link to what I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream_(food)
So I'm going to try and find a half & half that's closer to 18%. But the labels don't supply percentages. Any advice?
Emily

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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist

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This may help....
Heavy cream (which includes whipping cream) is about 35% milk fat
Light (or lite) whipping cream will be about 30% milk fat
Light (or lite) cream (not the same as light whipping cream, will usually run about 20 to 30% milk fat - although 18% seems to be the most common
Half and Half is usually somewhere from 10% to 20% milk fat
Canned (evaporated milk) is probably the lowest milk fat product in this category and is most commonly about 5 to 6% milk fat
Because the milk fat content in milk products, including cream, varies I don't worry about getting it exactly right in a recipe that calls for a specific amount of milk fat. Also, when specific requirements are listed, I typically err on the side of more rather than less in my food preparation exercises
Thanks for the reply. I guess I didn't make my question clear. The link I supplied has this info, which also suggests that there is a range in milk fat depending on the type of cream. What I'm asking is how to determine if a particular half & half is 10, 15 or 20% milk fat? Is there a way to calculate that from the "nutrition facts" label info?
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
The nutritional facts on the label of a product typically list (as percentages) the amount of the MDA (minimum daily allowance) or PDV (percentage daily value) of the listed nutritional component. But the math for the drop by drop relative percentage of the component is left to the consumer. If you know that a cup of the product (228 grams) contains a total of 22.8 grams of fat, then you know that the fat content is 10%. In a milk product I use the total fat percentage to calculate the "milk fat" influence.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
Thank you Culprit! It took some figuring since the serving size was in mL as well as Ts, and the fat was in grams, but I think I got what I wanted to know. Whew! Why do they make such an obvious question so difficult to answer?
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
Here are substitutes for "light cream":

"evaporated milk OR half and half OR 1 C = 7/8 C milk + 3 tablespoons butter OR blend equal parts milk and cottage cheese"

foodsubs.com
To tell from the Nutrition Facts,
Look at the serving for 100g, or roughly 100 ml (not so accurate),
if it's 35g fat (total) then it's about 35% fat...

I live in Los Angeles as well, and I'm having the same problem converting my British recipes that use single cream.  I also love Mexican cuisine, and I remember using table cream that I got at Vallarta Mexican market.  I believe that might be close to the single cream's 18% milk fat. You could probably find it at any Mexican/Salvadorian market and there are plenty around.  Best of luck to you!

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