Sweetened Condensed Milk is a dense, creamy syrup that makes everything Delicious. It is not to be confused with Evaporated Milk. Sweetened condensed milk is milk from which water has been removed and to which sugar has been added while evaporated milk is milk which also has had some liquid removed from it by evaporation. Evaporated milk is known in some parts of the world as unsweetened condensed milk. Now the idea of a sugary milk that doesn’t have to be refrigerated may be the reason some shy away from it but trust me it is delicious.


According to the Eagle brand website, in 1856, Gail Borden introduced the shelf-stable milk as a way to help fight food-related illnesses due to lack of refrigeration and proper food preservation. But the Civil War is what really helped launch the brand. The military needed large quantities of milk for their troops that would keep well and be transported easily. It has also been credited with lowering the infant mortality rate in North America. Now, according to Google, it lasts two to three weeks in the refrigerator after opening and 1 year past the expiration date unopened on the shelf.

Make it your own

And for those times that you need it in a pinch or for those of you that are little more adventurous, you can make your own.

According to a recipe that can be found on Food Network, all you need is nonfat milk and sugar. For those worried about sugar, you can adjust it to your liking. Even a sugar-free recipe can be found with a quick internet search.

Whether you cook every night or can barely toast bread, sweetened condensed milk is an essential ingredient that should be in everyone’s pantry.

Its creamy goodness deserves as much respect as other popular sweeteners like the beloved chocolate liqueur.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid of it. It is used all over the world to make many foods and drinks delicious. Vietnamese coffee, Thai iced tea, tres leches cake are just a few of the delicious recipe's you can make with sweetened condensed milk.

So try it in your next iced coffee or hot chocolate. Or mix a teaspoon or two in your black iced tea. If you boil it long enough, you can make a homemade version of dulce de leche. It is used in pies, layer bars, fudge, you name it. But really you can put it on anything, even just a bowl of fresh fruit or ice cream. A little goes a long way, so just remember a couple teaspoons may be all you need.The next time you’re in the grocery store, grab a can (or 10) of sweetened condensed milk and give it a try in your next dessert.