Clair checks in from the Continent to shed a little light on why crème fraîche is called “fresh cream” when it’s actually cream that has soured. She writes:
With regards to “crème fraîche”, you were wondering in an earlier post, why it was called “fraîche”. Please allow me to try and explain: in this instance, “fraiche” is a specific French denomination which can only be applied to applies to creams which are packaged at the farm within 24 hours of pasteurization and must not be sterilized. Hence, sterilized cream cannot be called “crème fraîche”.
Thank for clearing that up, Clair!