Q. I have been craving clotted cream, but I have a hard time finding it in the United States. Is it even legal to sell here? If so, where can I find it?
Clotted cream is the thick, rich layer of fat that forms on unpasteurized cream when it is gently heated. Clotted cream has the consistency of soft butter and is easily spreadable. In England, it's traditionally served with tea, scones and jam, a combination known as cream tea.
When it's made with unpasteurized dairy products, clotted cream is rich in various acid- and aroma-producing bacteria, which give it a unique tang that isn't easily imitated.
You can find clotted cream in the U.S., but since the legality of unpasteurized dairy products is confusing, it's probably going to be pasteurized. This will affect both its flavor and texture and it won't be exactly the product you remember.
Typically, clotted cream is sold in a jar. It's shelf stable for several months, but should be refrigerated after opening and used within a few days.
Clotted cream can be found in the Charlotte area at Earth Fare and in the international section of some Harris Teeters. It's also available online at the English Tea Store at www.englishtea store.com.