I love meeting friends' parents when they come to town. It's often enlightening but it was especially educational last week when I had the pleasure to dine with the parents of a Pakistani friend. His mother cooked a feast and after we'd all been stuffed to the gills with curry, ice cream was served. As we savored bowls of Ben and Jerry's, I cornered the patriarch to talk shop—many years ago he had been the first dairy farmer in Pakistan to pasteurize his milk. After moving to America he continued his dairy work, branching out into yogurt and ice cream. It's not often I get to share a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk with a dairy farmer so I seized the opportunity to ask him some burning questions like, "What is the difference between whipping cream and heavy cream?" The result of our very long conversation is this: cream labels are terribly misleading. Heavy cream is also known as heavy whipping cream, which is actually better for making whipped cream. Whipping cream (or light whipping cream) is capable of being whipped, unlike milk or half-and-half, but it makes a lighter, less stable whip. If none of this makes any sense just look for the percentage of fat on the cream carton. You'll need at least 30 percent fat in order to whip it. Mmm, whip it good.
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