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Are Cream of Tartar and Tartar Sauce the Same Thing?

Cooking Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free

When I wrote Celeste's Best Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes, I knew that many people who may be faced with following a gluten-free, dairy-free diet may have never cooked before going gluten-free. With that in mind, I made the recipes extremely easy to follow.  And even if you barely know how to boil water, you’d still have no trouble following my recipes with great success.

But this past week, I realized I may have forgotten something. Three people who have purchased the cookbook have now asked me the same question:

What exactly is cream of tartar?

And a few people wanted to know if tartar sauce was the same as cream of tartar.

Photo of bottle of tartar sauce with caption You Don't Want Tartar Sauce great for fish, not so great for baking

Tartar Sauce doesn’t contain any cream of tartar. It's a mayonnaise based sauce named after the Tartar family. It’s terrific on fish, and you can find a great recipe to make an allergen-free version for yourself in my cookbook on page 370.

Cream of Tartar Can Be Found in the Spice Aisle

Cream of tartar is a white, odorless powder that you can usually find in the spice section of your local grocery store. The combination of the cream of tartar and baking soda in recipes will act in the same way that baking powder does, and helps leaven your baked goods causing them to rise.

Image of Tone's gluten-free cream of tartar and tablespoon of cream of tartar and the words You Want Cream of Tartar which can be found in the spice aisle

So why don’t I simply use baking powder in the recipes?

Most baking powders contain a filler – usually corn, gluten or potatoes. So by using the combination of cream of tartar and baking soda, you can avoid any chance of possible allergens.

Reader Comments (2)

What if I want tartar sauce?

May 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercoso

A quick recipe to make your own tartar sauce:

Whisk together the following in a small bowl:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1½ teaspoons dill

Serve immediately or store in sealed container in refrigerator.

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