It’s unlikely that you ever gave any deeper thought to whipped cream. After all, this dairy product may taste amazing and is a fantastic addition to numerous sweets and other sugary desserts, but there is nothing more to it, right? You’d be surprised to know that even something as basic as this product can have a number of facts and interesting quirks most people probably had no idea about.
Some of them are historical in nature, such as that whipped cream is centuries old and used to be whipped with a branch back in the day. Others are more on the technical side, such as that you need to whip the cream at a specific temperature to get the desired product. There is even the little-known fact that whipped cream contains a high number of necessary fat-soluble vitamins. Explore these facts below and discover just how much you didn’t know about this delicious treat!
Most people think that whipped cream is a recent invention, especially considering how easily you can get it today – by buying at the supermarket, ordering at a coffee shop, or googling “cream chargers Melbourne” and getting nangs delivered under an hour to your door. But actually, whipped cream has been around for a few hundred years now, with the earliest evidence of its existence dating back to the 16th century.
Initially called “cream snow,” the naturally separated cream was whipped to get a type of “foam.” This substance would then be taken away in a time-consuming process that could last even an hour or more. What’s interesting, the initial name was still used in the 17th century, then replaced entirely by the current “whipped cream” one.
The first whipping devices were branches, which were used to whip the cream manually. This process was extremely time-consuming, as you had to keep whipping the cream until it got to its desired consistency. It also took a lot of effort and could be quite painful, considering the effort it took to achieve the needed effect.
The whish was not used to whip the cream until much later in the 19th century. It was only in the 20th century that the whole process got trivialized with the introduction of commonplace electric mixers.
Whipped cream can only be made at a specific temperature, with a 7.5 to 12.5 degrees Celsius temperature range. This is because the heavy cream you need to make it in needs to be cold enough to not turn into butter or cheese by the time you start whipping it. However, if it’s too cold, the cream can’t be whipped. You need to aim for a perfect balance between the two extremes.
There are so-called imitations or whipped toppings available on the market. Usually, such alternatives are made to avoid dairy products among the ingredients, extend the product’s shelf life, or reduce the price.
Imitation whipped cream looks and feels like whipped cream but is a mixture of various oils, sweeteners, and stabilizers. That’s why in regulatory contexts, these products are called “whipped edible oil topping.” This type of product isn’t actually whipped cream and doesn’t contain the same sort of vitamins and minerals. It’s also not as nutritious as a dairy-based product.
Another type is vegan toppings, made out of soy or coconut oil.
One of the lesser-known facts about whipped cream is that it contains a significant number of the vitamins and minerals you need, which is quite impressive considering how tiny a serving of it can get.
Of particular note here are the high vitamin A, D, and E levels and calcium and phosphorous. For example, one-half cup of whipped cream contains approximately 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of calcium, 7% of vitamin E, and 10% of vitamin D. When it comes to vitamin A, however, such a portion represent over a third of the recommended daily intake – 35% to be exact.
The most popular solution nowadays, the canned whipped cream that can be easily sprayed on your desserts started appearing on the market in the 1950s. Before that, in the 1930s, scientists developed a whipping siphon with nitrous oxide to instantly whip the cream into its desired consistency. The combination of these two factors – the portable can and the N20 infusion system – made the whipped cream so convenient and popular even to this day.
National Whipped Cream Day is celebrated every January 5th and is actually a nod to pay homage to the birthday of Aaron Lapin, who was born in 1914 and is the founder of Reddi-Wip. He invented the Reddi-Whip brand in 1948, which today is one of the most common whipped cream brands in the United States, producing both the aerosol canned version of sweetened whipped creams and non-dairy, vegan-friendly whipped toppings.
To celebrate the National Whipped Cream Day, make sure to treat yourself to something delicious with whipped cream of your choice. You can do as little as starting your day with a cup of an old-fashioned espresso con Panna – a double shot of espresso with whipped cream on top, or go as far as preparing a lemon curd tart with vanilla Chantilly cream (another name for whipped cream) from scratch.
In the end, it’s clear that whipped cream has a rich history and many interesting stories behind it. It’s more than just a dairy product that you can add to your favorite desserts – it’s also a rich source of vitamins and minerals, although you should be aware that the non-dairy whipped toppings are not as nutritious.
So, next time you’re looking to top a great dessert with some creamy goodness, make sure to consider these facts and enjoy the experience even more! Happy tasting experience!