The other day I was going through my collection of family recipes and I have stumbled upon my great grandmother’s recipe for a classic cup of hot chocolate. In that recipe, an ingredient I didn’t know about was included in the list, sweet milk.
What is sweet milk anyway? I thought back then. In attempt to remake my great grandmother’s hot chocolate, I did a little research on what sweet milk could be. Though the name itself should already be a giveaway of what this thing is, I was actually surprised once I figured out what exactly sweet milk is.
If you too encountered a recipe that requires you to use sweet milk, or if you just plainly want to figure out what sweet milk is for other purposes, I encourage you to read on. This article contains everything you need to know about what is sweet milk.
What Is Sweet Milk?
Sweet milk, its name is kind of misleading. Upon doing research I have discovered that sweet milk is basically just your plain whole milk.
Why the confusion with the name then you ask? Well it turns out that whole milk used to be called sweet milk back then just because people had to label it to distinguish it from other kinds of milk used for cooking, specifically buttermilk.
Since whole milk comes with a sweeter taste than that of buttermilk, it was given the name sweet milk, which was then dropped today.
In today’s market, you will be able to find all kinds of sweet milk including whole, low-fat, high-calcium, and more. However, you won’t find it in a carton or packaging that says “sweet milk.” It’s just today’s plain old milk.
Sweet Milk Vs. Buttermilk
So why was there a need to label whole milk as sweet milk back then? Well, the main reason could be because sweet milk and buttermilk are two of the most commonly used milks for cooking back then.
Sweet milk is often used for making desserts such as flan, chocolate, and creamy ice creams. Buttermilk on the other hand, is often used for baking.
Perhaps the reason why whole milk is named as sweet milk back then is to reduce the instances of cooks mistaking buttermilk for regular sweet milk.
Using the right milk for certain cooking recipes is truly a great deal. Having the wrong milk in your fridge can significantly affect the overall taste of the dish you are trying to create.
The clear distinction between buttermilk and sweet milk is a necessary step in the culinary world because these two types of milk come with very different flavors.
Sweet milk for one has a rather sweet taste to it, hence the name. Though not all types of sweet milk come with the same amount of sweetness, all kinds of sweet milk whether it be low-fat or whole comes with an ultimately sweeter taste than other types of milk.
As for buttermilk, it comes with a slight sour taste to it. Not that buttermilk is slightly bad, it comes with a distinct sour taste as an effect of the lactic acids that it contains. Another difference between buttermilk and sweet milk is the consistency.
Since buttermilk undergoes a curdling process, it becomes a bit more thicker than regular milk. Another interesting difference between sweet milk and buttermilk is that buttermilk comes with less fat.
The buttermilk’s certain features is what makes it ideal for baking. The acid contents of buttermilk gets integrated very well with baking recipes that include baking soda in the mix. A buttermilk and baking soda combo is what makes pastries become light and tender at the same time. And unachievable feat when sweet milk is used.
Common Misconceptions About Sweet Milk
Now that you are very well aware of what sweet milk actually is (normal milk), you may now stop getting fooled into thinking that sweet milk is exactly the same as other types of milk that actually come with sweeteners.
One common misconception that is linked with sweet milk is that sweet milk and condensed milk are the same.
Since we now know that sweet milk is basically normal milk, the case that sweet milk and condensed milk is the same is not likely.
Unlike sweet milk, or regular milk, condensed milk actually comes with a lot of sugar. In fact, to make condensed milk, you will need to mix up regular milk with a lot of sugar and wait for the sugar to caramelize to get fully integrated with the regular milk.
The end product of this mixture would be a highly sweetened form of milk that comes with a very thick consistency.
Unlike sweet milk and buttermilk that is often added in the middle of the cooking process, condensed milk is often added at the end of the cooking process as a form of garnish or topping.
A Quick Recap
It can sometimes be surprising to do a little research on a certain ingredient and find out that it’s actually something you are very familiar with. Just like with the case of what is sweet milk, it’s funny to discover that it’s actually just plain milk.
Now that you know what sweet milk actually is, you should no longer have any difficulty in knowing where you can find it. Turns out you can easily buy one from your local supermarket.
If you have any questions about this article, please leave your comment on the box below, and checking out some great products in this shop for your kitchen. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you and happy cooking!