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To make the Cheesecake with Prunes from our Dordogne story, you’ll need both fromage blanc and creme fraiche. What’s the difference? They look similar, share a pleasantly sharp taste, and are sometimes used interchangeably. But fromage blanc, as its name suggests, is a fresh white cheese; it’s made by culturing nonfat milk, then draining the liquid whey from the solid curds. Creme fraiche is not cheese at all, but a cultured cream; it’s used primarily in cooking. Fromage blanc can be cooked, too, but it’s also eaten at the end of a meal, dusted with sugar or with salt and pepper—or mixed with minced garlic and parsley.

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