My husband's grandmother loved to cook. My children and I cherish her old recipes, especially the ones for the holidays. Several of the recipes, including our favorite for chocolate fudge, call for "one can of evaporated milk." They don't say what size can — the options must have been limited in the 1920s — so we always have to guess. Evaporated milk is also known as condensed milk, which is the result of milk being heated until about 60 percent of the water is removed. Sweetened condensed milk is made using the same process, but has added sugar. The type of condensed milk and the amount can make a big difference in recipes. The sweetened kind is delicious in recipes from cookie bars to pies and even as a coffee creamer. Unlike his grandma's local market, our grocery stores offer numerous sizes and brands of condensed milk, both sweetened and unsweetened. Our judges wanted to know how the sweeter varieties compared to each other.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent