I am watching Barefoot Contessa and Ina is putting cream of tartar in her egg whites. She just said, "It is like a vinegar that helps stabilize the meringue."
I suddenly had the urge to investigate, so I googled it. I found this:
Cream of tartar is obtained when tartaric acid is half neutralized with potassium hydroxide, transforming it into a salt.
Oh, silly me, of course, I knew that. Yeah, right. It's been a long time since I've had a chemistry class.
Grapes are the only significant natural source of tartaric acid, and cream of tartar is a obtained from sediment produced in the process of making wine.
Ah, that I understand. It's the gunk on the bottom of the wine barrel. Who woulda thunk it?
Cream of tartar is best known in our kitchens for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. Hence, Ina making her meringue.
If you are beating eggs whites and don't have cream of tartar, you can substitute white vinegar (in the same ratio as cream of tartar, generally 1/8 teaspoon per egg white). Ah, that's why Ina said it was like a vinegar.
So I learned something today. Maybe some of you did, too.
I am so glad you stopped by to visit my garden. I garden in lower northern Michigan (zone 5) in far less than ideal conditions. I have too many pine trees, too much shade, too many rocks, herds of hosta-munching deer and rabbits who think my lilly buds are gourmet appetizers. I am by no means an expert in horticulture or garden design--just an amateur with a shovel and a passion. My garden changes daily during the summer and I will be updating frequently.
During the winter months, I blog about my favorite cold-weather hobby--quilting and just my everyday musings.
I hope you enjoy your visit, and that you will come back soon.