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Please pardon my ignorance but...........

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Why is it ok to consume sour cream, but not sour milk?

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  1. Sour, curdled milk is (I think) called clabber, and people do consume it. Not this person, but other people.

    1. Continuing along similar lines -- how can you tell when buttermilk goes bad?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rick Azzarano

        Unless it becomes discolored in some way or has a different odor to it, you probably can't until you taste it.

      2. People do consume sour milk, and certain baked goods call for sour milk as an ingredient.

        But note ... there is a difference between SOUR milk and SPOILED milk. Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soured_milk

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          See also kefir...which is a darned fine substitute for sour milk, by the way.

          Kefir and sour milk are milk which has curdled via the addition of cultures (beneficial to humans, as in acidophius, similar to those cultures found in yoghurt)...

          SPOILED milk has been contaminated by any of a long list of pathogens...the difference is that the gremlins living in SOUR milk are good for you....the gremlins living in SPOILED milk can kill you.

          (both kinds are thickened by the acid secreted by the bacteria...but don't try substituting one for the other, okay?)

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Thanks Ipsedixit. Now I understand there is a difference between sour and spoiled milk.. Since I am somewhat lactose intolerant, I use soy milk (Silk) in my cereal but do enjoy sour cream on baked potato. I avoid eating milk chocolate and, during rare lapses of self control, I will indulge in ice cream or a thick malted.

          2. On the very rare occasions that I've encountered sour/spoiled pasteurized milk, it's been chunky and stinky. When I've had raw milk in my fridge sit too long, it soured, but seemed fine to cook or bake with. It just wasn't as gross - just different. Kind of makes sense - dead milk is going to grow whatever ends up existing in it, but live milk comes preinoculated. I'm sure that once in a while pasteurized milk comes out edible, but I never seem compelled to taste!

            1. Yogurt is also a soured milk.

              1. Many years ago, when I had a toddler in the house, I found a plastic cup of milk on the fireplace mantle- not sure how it got up there or when (at least a few days), I expect it was put up high to keep it from spilling during times of lots of toddlers runing around and climbing on the furniture, but I digress.
                The milk had solidified. It was pasteurized cow's milk, Shamrock brand, I shook the cup back and forth, it was like a firm yogurt, and the smell was barely-tangy-to-nonexistent. I was so tempted to try it, but back in the day I wasn't adventurous like I am today. I wish I had, though.

                1. We have leftover milk that went sour in our fridge--it makes the best pancakes! Use like buttermilk. In the hot summer, we seem to accumulate it faster. Or when we have visitors. In the winter, I have to buy buttermilk.