Condensed milk is a common ingredient in sweet dishes and desserts – but do you know what it is and how it is made? A huge number of people have confessed they have no idea
You have no doubt have a tin of condensed milk lurking in the back of your kitchen cupboard, but do you know what it actually is? As it turns out, a huge number of people have no idea how it’s made.
It’s a question commonly asked on Twitter. “What is it about condensed milk that’s so delicious?” one person recently asked, with another quizzing, “What is condensed milk do they put regular milk in a hydraulic press or something?” Another wrote: “I just saw a post about condensed milk…I’ve never had condensed milk. What is it used for?”
Condensed milk is referred to as both condensed milk and sweetened condensed milk; it’s the same thing. This long-lasting product is a form of concentrated milk in which about 60 percent of the water content has been removed, after which sugar is added, and it is then canned.
Condensed milk contains 40 to 45 percent sugar, is rich and thick, with an off-white caramel colour and a super-sweet flavour. And it’s that high level of sweetness that prolongs its shelf-life.
When stored in a tin, condensed milk can last for years without refrigeration if not opened. For that reason, it is commonly used to make various dessert dishes such as key lime pie and ice cream. The product is also sometimes used together with clotted cream to make fudge here in the UK.
Meanwhile, in parts of Asia and Europe, sweetened condensed milk is actually the preferred milk to be added to coffee or tea. Some countries even use the milk to flavour their hot or iced coffee.
Evaporated milk, meanwhile, is similar to condensed milk, and is also made by heating milk until about 60 percent of its water content has evaporated. It is then homogenised, packaged, and sterilised.
The result is a dense, creamy, ultra-concentrated milk that can be canned and stored for several months. Evaporated milk is used in dishes that seek a creamy texture, but not necessarily any added sweetness and features in both sweet and savoury recipes.
The revalation comes after people expressed their shock when discovering what paprika is actually made of. Despite the fact it’s a staple in many kitchen spice racks, a number of foodies admitted they had no idea what the deep orange red powder really is and where it comes from.
The revelation came about when one person known as @simsimmaaz took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share her astonishment at her own discovery. She said: “Learning that paprika is just dried and crushed red bell peppers was really shocking. Like I dunno why I thought there was a Paprika tree somewhere.”
Others were just as surprised to find out paprika is just ground-up and dried peppers – just like the ones you have in your fridge – with one person writing: “I didn’t think there was a paprika tree, but I for sure thought it was some kind of spice blend or like its own thing that they just powdered.”
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