Cream of tartar is made from tartaric acid and is available in powdered form. When wine is produced, one of its byproducts is tartaric acid. When combined with bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar produces carbon dioxide and functions as a leavening agent, just like yeast in dough.
Cream of tartar is also used for slowing down the natural tendency of egg whites to deflate. Many people also use cream of tartar to prevent the crystallization of sugar. Hence, it is an important part of kitchen cabinets, as explained by Preparedness Mama.
This item is stored in a jar and stays in a good condition for a long time if not contaminated. Very often, a simple yet significant question asked is, does cream of tartar go bad? The answer is yes!
How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last? Does Cream of Tartar Go Bad?
Cream of tartar lasts until it comes in contact with moisture, like all other powdered kitchen products. When it comes to the shelf life of both opened and unopened cream of tartar, it is good to use for 6 months above the Best By date.
The date is usually provided due to legal requirements and greatly helps when you need to check the potency of your product. A general rule is that cream of tartar is suitable to use after at least four years from its date of production.
If you are uncertain regarding its potency, you can always test it. The method is the same as testing the potency of baking powder. Just take half cup of warm water and stir half teaspoon of cream of tartar. Add a pinch of baking soda. If the foam does not form, cream of tartar has gone bad.
If you notice small clumps in the cream of tartar, they can usually be broken and the cream of tartar can still be used. Just be wary of bigger clumps.
Make sure you always test the potency if the cream of tartar is past the date labelled on the box/package it comes in.
How to Tell If Cream of Tartar Is Bad?
Cream of tartar is usable for a long time. Even if a little moisture gets in, there is a low chance of mold growth. So, how can you know if cream of tartar has gone bad?
There are various signs that indicate that the cream of tartar has gone bad. These include:
- 1Presence of a lot of moisture and any big solid lumps formed inside the jar. The content should be in the form of a loose powder
- 2Changed color or any signs of dark specs
- 3A lack of smell
When you do not place it in a dry place and moisture gets into the jar, big lumps can form in the cream of tartar. The changed color can be due to moisture as well as direct sunlight. This indicates that both humidity and high temperature can make cream of tartar go bad.
Cream of tartar has significant uses. It is stored in jars and can be used forever if kept properly. However, as all other powders you use in your kitchen, it can go bad as well. Therefore, you must check it for signs of going bad before using it.