Regular reader and contributor Hans writes in to comment:
If my latin-based language skillz don’t let me down, Crème Fraîche means fresh cream. The latinos have a similar cream, usually called crema fresca. If you have a concentration of Latin Americans (i.e. Mexicans, though not limited to Mexicans) your grocery may carry crema fresca and I wonder if it wouldn’t be essentially the same and cheaper than the French stuff at the health food store.
Thanks for bringing that up, Hans! In fact crema fresca is closer to crème fraîche than sour cream. Its fat content is usually a bit higher, about 25% compared to sour cream which clocks in around 20%. Both are still lightweights compared to crème fraîche, though, which weighs in at a chubby 35-48%.
Though all this begs the question: why is it called “fresh cream” when it’s gone sour? I’ll need to look into that.