Who does whipped cream better? The 1950s or today? (It's a whipped cream smackdown!)

This is a friendly competition between two similar products from two different Maine dairy companies. One of these containers of cream has many more additives--things that weren't added to milk in the 1950s and earlier--and has had more processing than the other. I wanted to know which would produce a prettier (and some would say healthier) whipped cream.

I used to live next to an Oakhurst dairy farm.

Oakhurst really stuck it to Monsanto when they first decided to not use bovine growth hormone (a Monsanto product) and added that fact to their milk packaging labels. Monsanto sued them but Oakhurst prevailed. I respect that immensely along with their support of local family farms.

Smiling Hill is a family farm that produces, processes and bottles(!) their milk in my town. They do not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or artificial hormones. I just love that they still use bottles! This is where they accept returned bottles in their farm store where I brought mine earlier today. 

Two great companies, but things get ugly with the whipped cream:

Oakhurst Whipping Cream 

Ultra-Pasteurized: Kills bacteria and lasts longer before opening as stated on package.

Homogenized: A process to help bond water and fat together (emulsify).



Carrageenan: Used as a thickener and an emulsifier. Seems redundant, no?

Mono-Diglycerides: Synthetic fat added as an emulsifier. Really? I guess they want to make sure their whipping cream is fool-proof?

Cellulose Gum: Another emulsifier?!

Polysorbate 80: A mixture of polyoxyethylene ethers of mixed partial oleic acid esters of sorbitol anhydrides and related compounds. Or simply, yet even another emulsifier.

Smiling Hill Farm Heavy Cream

Pasteurized: Kills bacteria.


Cream, milk.

I've used Oakhurst's whipping cream many times, then decided to buy "organic" Horizon brand heavy cream but even they add carageenan. I wondered if something disastrous would happen without adding emulsifiers. How did our grandmothers ever survive making whipped cream without it?! I needed to know. Then I learned that Smiling Hill farm produces emulsifier-free heavy cream and sells it at their local store! Joy!

So, onto the smackdown!


I used the same size and shape bowl to whip one level cup of cold cream from each along with the same hand-held electric mixer that was washed and dried between each whipping. Each was whipped on medium then high speed until medium stiff peaks formed.


The Oakhurst Whipping Cream took about four minutes.

Smiling Hill took a little less than three minutes!

Then I did a dollop test. I simply placed a tablespoon in each bowl, scooped out some whipped cream and plopped it on a dish.

The Oakhurst dollop is nice but ever so slightly slightly runny at the base.

The Smiling Hill Farm dollop appears airier and shows no evidence of being runny. It emulsified beautifully without any chemical "help" or homogenizing.

As far as flavor there is no discernible difference between the two. 

The winner, in my opinion, is Smiling Hill Farms. I feel comfortable saying based upon my little experiment that not only is it healthier to leave the additives out, but that they appear entirely unnecessary. They seem to even possibly detract from the cream doing its natural thing when whipped.

So here's another little piece of my diet that will go retro!


  1. Hi Averyl!
    My name is Paula and I'm from Portugal.
    I've been reading your blog (American women didn't get fat in the 50's) for a few years now and love to see the differences between recipes, food portions, aditives that companies put in our food, clothes sizes, etc...
    In Portugal, we have the same problem. With the European Union, every country has to have the same rules about almost everything, wich is not always a good thing, right?!
    But here in our house, me and my husband try to eat better and live a more healthy life. One thing we did, was to start buying egs from chickens that are raised freely, not in cages.
    We call them happy chickens eggs, because we think that it's so unfair that a chicken has to spend her life inside a metal cage the size of a shoe box, just so we can have eggs on our plates...
    I miss your posts about clothes now and in the 50's and the way people used to eat and live.
    Sorry for any mistakes in the witing, but my english is a little bit rusted!

    1. Hi Paula from Portugal! :) Thank you!

      I agree with you about eggs and also buy cage-free chicken eggs that have been "Certified Humane" when I'm shopping at the grocery store. During the summer months at the farmer's market I buy direct from the local producers.

    2. Are you allowed to keep your own chickens in Portugal? Some towns and cities in the U.S. are letting people keep a few chickens as pets, even though they don't live in the country.

  2. We've been picking up Dairy Pure products for about two months. The label lists nothing, but cream. They are delicious! I can taste the difference. I even like the lump of butter at the top.

    1. I'll have to check that out if I see it. Thanks.

  3. Oh, this was fun! I'm pinning it. I don't even buy whipped cream any more (especially Cool Whip or Redi-Whip), but it's been a long time since I made my own.

    We'll see if I can find "vintage" heavy cream around here without trotting over to Whole Foods.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! My local health food store sells "organic" cream from some of the national brands, and they also have added emulsifiers. Maybe you need to add a cow to your menagerie. ha

  4. Averyl, first carragean is a known carcinogen. What it's doing in our food supply emulsifying everything is beyond me. Second, we get our milk and other dairy delivered from a local dairy that uses glass bottles too. It's so nice to have options. Great experiment. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks, Sarah. LOVE that your dairy delivers! So old school!

  5. I switched recently from Horizon and my store brand. They both have carragean. Now I buy Organic Valley at Whole Foods. One heavy cream product is pasture raised, ultra-pasteurized and contains gellan gum. I need to look that up. Their other cream product is just pasteurized and grass fed with no additives. I've bought a similar local product but it only lasts a few days and I can't use it all up before it goes bad so that's the reason I buy the UHT.

    Is it my imagination or didn't heavy cream come in half pint containers years ago?

    1. "Gellan Gum" which is a bacteria byproduct similar to Xanthan gum developed by Merck. Ew. You can empty half of the cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze the rest until needed. I do recall half-pint cream sizes.

    2. That's a great idea! Thanks, Averyl.


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