Cream of tartar: Overview
a bit about cream of tartar

what is cream of tartar
Cream of tartar is a by-product of wine-making, occurring as a crystalline residue called beeswing that forms on the inside of wine casks. Sometimes, a similar crystalized substance known as wine diamonds will form on the underside of the corks of wine bottles stored at less than 50’ F for a period of time.

Although cream of tartar isn’t used to enhance the flavor of foods, it does improve the texture of many kinds of foods. For one thing, as the potassium acid salt of tartaric acid, cream of tartar reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide, which makes “quick” breads and other baked goods rise in the oven without the necessity for slow-acting yeast. Cream of tartar is also used to prevent canned fruits from browning, to help whipped egg whites to hold shape and to keep the liquids and fats in dairy products from separating. It is also a component of baking soda.

There are many uses for cream of tartar outside of the kitchen. It is an effective laundry booster and stain spot treatment, especially when combined with powdered citric acid. It can also be mixed with an acidic liquid like vinegar or lemon juice to form a paste with which to clean copper and brass. Blended with hydrogen peroxide and applied as a paste, it will help to remove rust from hand and garden tools. Combined with flour and salt, cream of tartar is the secret ingredient to the best performing homemade playdough.