Sour cream's history dates back to the first half of the 20th century, and is associated with the cooking traditions of Eastern Europe, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. Originally, making sour cream involved allowing fresh cream to sour naturally. Today, commercial sour cream can contain the addition of lactic acid, gelatin or guar gum.
In order to sell this dairy product as sour cream, it must have at least 18 percent milk fat by weight. Sour cream is suitable for a variety of dishes, including beef stroganoff sauce, dips, breads and salad dressings.
When using sour cream, it is a good idea to use the product with one to two days after opening the container, and should be kept in a refrigerator that is set at temperature that is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.