"Whey or milk plasma is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained; it is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Whey is used to produce ricotta and gjetost cheeses and is used to make many other products for human consumption and as an animal feed." This and more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey
in Aqua Scripto • Link
NB: it was a morning draught without distillation.
Whey was considered more wholesome than milk, a drink at this time was for the oldies and kiddies. noted by L&M The whey be the watery part.
Curd [the thick curdled part] the other part of the milk,left after the milk be skimmed [ie fat be used as cream for the strawberries].
Of course do not let thy blackbird get to the cream first.
The cream[fat]be skimmed off first, then he was first to the the milkmaid hauling her two large canisters to feed the hungary, is allowed to say I've got the cream of the crop.
dirk • Link
Whereas in previous centuries whey had been commonly used as pig food, it became a fashionable drink in the 17th c. (and even more so in the 18th c.), and even whey-houses were opened for its consumption. Sometimes herb or fruit juices were added, particularly in springtime.
Whey with salt added was used as a preserving liquid (pickle) -- and was then referred to as "souse", "souce" or "sowce".
Australian Susan • Link
Whey with salt added sounds like sour lassi
Whey would keep longer than whole milk, but there must have been so much curdling of milk prior to refridgeration that having curds and whey was an everyday event - cf Little Miss Muffet!
in Aqua scripto • Link
So there be a business in whey;"...thence to the whay-house, and drank a great deal of whay..."
Chris Squire • Link
‘whey, n. Etym: Old English hwæg, hweg . .
1. a. The serum or watery part of milk which remains after the separation of the curd by coagulation, esp. in the manufacture of cheese.
. . 1600 R. Surflet tr. C. Estienne & J. Liebault Maison Rustique i. xiv. 90 The whaie may serve for the feeding of the hogs and dogs.
1732 J. Arbuthnot Pract. Rules of Diet i. 252 Of all Drinks, Whey is the most relaxing.
1791 Scott Let. 26 Aug. (1932) I. 19 My uncle drinks the whey here, as I do ever since I understood it was brought to his bedside every morning at six, by a very pretty dairy-maid.
1893 J. P. Sheldon Brit. Dairying xv. 163 On dairy farms where cheese and butter are made, pigs are useful to consume whey and skim-milk.
. . whey-house n.
1663 S. Pepys Diary 10 June (1971) IV. 179 To the Royal Theatre.‥ Thence to the *Whay-house and drank a great deal of Whay.’ [OED]
Nowadays in the USA we call it buttermilk. People often drank it in the summer months as a cool refreshing drink. Lots of beneficial bacteria in whey that makes it sour like yogurt. This preserves the whey with acidity and good bacterial that crowds out the bad bacteria. This was very useful in an era that did not have much in the way of preserving food except salt. Whey is also used in bakeing. It provides extra rise to the dough.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.