Pronunciation: [tahr-TAR-ihk; tahr-TAHR-ihk]
A natural crystalline compound found in plants, especially those with tart characteristics such as tamarind and unripe grapes. The principal acid in wine, tartaric acid is the component that promotes graceful aging and crispness of flavor. One of the by-products of tartaric acid is cream of tartar, which is used in baking and candy-making.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.