Tartar in My Wine: The Things You Learn When Making Playdough

Structure of potassium bitartrate

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Peanut decided to make play-dough today. She found a recipe online, then set about gathering the ingredients. When she got to the cream of tartar, she came to me for help. "What's cream of tartar, Mom?"
"Um, I don't know, but you need it to make play-dough," I said.
After checking the cupboards and coming up empty-handed, she was back. We needed a substitution. Upon Googling "cream of tartar", we learned some things, including possible substitutions.

Cream of tartar is a by-product of the wine industry. A crystalline acid forms on the inside of wine barrels. The barrels are scraped and the sediment is purified and ground to form cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is used to stabilize egg whites when making meringue or as an addition to certain frostings to produce a creamy product.


1 oz., 3 tbsp.

Ingredient Substitutions

juice (3 x quantity) or vinegar (3 x quantity)
source: Gourmet Sleuth

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