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Batter Chatter: Interview with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk

Undoubtedly you've baked with either Sweetened Condensed or Evaporated Milk, if not both. But what exactly are they? And what's the difference, anyway? Happily, I was able to get the full story directly from the source, when I sat down with a couple of the respective canned dairy products for an interview:

CakeSpy: First off, I'd like to thank my guests, Sweetened Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk. And I'd like to say, for the record, that no matter what anyone says, I've never considered you dairy misfits.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Who said that?

Evaporated Milk: I'll kill them! It was Whipping Cream, wasn't it? He's so smug.

CakeSpy: Outta sight! So, to get things started, Sweetened Condensed Milk...what exactly are you?

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Well, since I was googling myself before the interview, I can tell you that I'm "cow's milk from which water has been removed and to which sugar has been added, yielding a very thick, sweet product which when canned can last for years without refrigeration if unopened."

CakeSpy: Wow, that's a long time.

Evaporated Milk: No wonder why you seem so dated.

CakeSpy: Now, now, Evaporated Milk. I'm interested in you too--what is it exactly that you are?

Evaporated Milk: So glad you asked. I'm comprised of dehydrated milk, and am considered a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk.

CakeSpy: You guys, no offense, but it doesn't sound like you're all that different. What exactly is the difference between you two?

Sweetened Condensed Milk: I've got sugar!

Evaporated Milk: I don't need sugar! I have a very unique flavor and am often used in desserts such as Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: But with my deliciously decadent sugary nature, I'm often used in desserts too--perhaps most notably, or notoriously, in the Magic Cookie Bar.

Evaporated Milk: I thought those were called Hello Dolly Bars.

CakeSpy: Tomato, tomahto.

Sweetened Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk (in unision): Whaaat?!?

CakeSpy: Nevermind. (pause)

Anyhow, to review, you're both shelf stable canned milk products, but basically Sweetened Condensed Milk has added sugar, and Evaporated milk doesn't. You both have a rich history and a rich texture, and are often used in baking. And no matter what Heavy Cream, Yogurt, or Cream Cheese says about your status as reputable dairy product, I love you both.

Evaporated Milk: Thanks...I think.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: Let's go shank Heavy Cream!

For recipes using Sweetened Condensed Milk, visit the Eagle Brand site; for Evaporated Milk recipes, check out Carnation.

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Reader Comments (14)

Loved this interview, now I can rest at night. Thanks for sweetening up my day.

April 23 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Hilarious and informative.

April 23 | Unregistered CommenterLora

I would think the Condensed Milk wouldn't be so vicious, what with all that extra sugar! Wanting to shank another dairy product, my heavens!

By the way, a fun (if slightly dangerous) way to make homemade dulce de leche for a fraction of the cost of buying some is to take your biggest stock pot, fill'er up with water and FULLY submerge a can of sweetened condensed milk. Bring it to a boil and boil for about 2 hours, making SURE the water never evaporates enough to expose the can. Try not to burn your fingers or your tongue after you crack that puppy open...mmmmmm......

April 23 | Unregistered CommenterKrystel

Cakespy, is there no limit to your adorableness?

April 24 | Unregistered Commenterjama

Haha, so cute, I've always wanted to know the difference! Thanks, and keep up the adorableness, which, is jama pointed out above, clearly has no limit :)

April 24 | Unregistered Commentercaronae

Thanks friends! Though Jama and Caronae, I think the cute factor may be distracting you from the fact that there is some serious brawling gonna happen soon between the dairy! :-)

April 24 | Unregistered CommenterCakeSpy

That was just adorable.

April 25 | Unregistered CommenterLily

I had to use half and half instead of evaporated milk when I made pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving because it turns out that if evaporated milk sits too long, the proteins settle on the bottom.

They're orange, if you were wondering.

April 25 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Oh Jess...your tongue-in-cheek humor...one of the many reasons I love you!!!!

Sweetened condensed milk is my favorite dessert! I can drink it straight out of the can and will still want to lick the can clean. I lift my face out of the can with a sticky shape of the can on my face. Can't always reach with my tongue to clean every bit of that! I love the stuff so much I only give it up for Lent, prior to Easter Sunday.

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