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The US and the UK: Divided by a Common (Culinary) Language

In the "One more tea rant" thread on the General Topics board, Paulustrius floated the idea of a thread with this title to address food and cooking-related vocabulary/language differences in our respective transatlantic versions of English.

(It'd be interesting to note the differences in other English-speaking countries, as well. I know not all Commonwealth nations use the British conventions, and that Anglophone Canada, for instance, uses most of the same terminology the US does.)

So here are a few for starters.

From the tea thread:

US French press vs. UK cafétiere

A few more:

zucchini vs. courgette

eggplant vs. aubergine

bell pepper vs. capsicum

snow pea vs. mangetout

arugula vs. rocket

romaine vs. cos

cilantro (or fresh coriander or Chinese parsley) vs. coriander (for the leaf)

dark chocolate vs. plain chocolate

all purpose flour vs. plain flour

baking soda vs. bicarb or bicarbinate of soda

cookie vs. biscuit

french fries vs. chips

potato chips vs. potato crisps

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    1. re: KiltedCook

      Well, they go by both names in the US, but I gather only chickpeas in the UK?

      1. re: KiltedCook

        They are often chickpeas in the US, too -- which term is used predominantly is probably a regional variation (the Spanish word used more in the West/Southwest, the English word used more in the East/North East, perhaps). The same with cilantro/fresh coriander/Chinese parsley. It's only recently that "cilantro" has become used almost universally in the US. In England, it's still "coriander."

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          yes i'm from the northeast. sent hubby out with grocery list for chick peas in NC. apparently no one knew what they were, and finallyat the 2nd store someone suggested garbanzo beans.

      2. Good list -- however, since you're putting the American on the left and the English on the right, you have arugula and rocket backwards.

        Here's another one:

        Corn starch vs. corn flour

        26 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          It's called arugula in the US, rocket in the UK, so how is it backwards?

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            It's also called rocket in the US. In my experience, "arugula" has only come to predominate in the last 20 years or so, but that may be a function of geography and family background.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Not disagreeing with you, but at the same time, I've never seen arugula sold in stores (NYC, DC, Miami, North Carolina) as rocket.

              1. re: MMRuth

                According to one of my reference books, it used to be called “rocket” in the U.S. many years ago. Then, after a long absence, it reappeared as “arugula” after the Italian “rugala.” I wonder if it’s possible that in some parts of the States “rocket” is just a holdover from that earlier time.

                1. re: JoanN

                  In Canada I had never heard of rocket before I saw it mentioned on a cooking show from the Kingdom of UK. Took a lot of digging before I found out it is arugula. Doesn't matter though. I can't get either in my hick town :-)

                2. re: MMRuth

                  I'd never seen it sold in stores at all until fairly recently. "Rocket" was one of those bitter edible weeds that I hated as a kid. Like nettles and dandelion greens. They were things that my granddad picked wild and tried to pretend were food. The notion of paying money for them would have been absurd.

                  I actually like arugula a lot now. And have even paid a premium price for a delicious bowl of weed - er, stinging nettle - soup at Alice's Restaurant. Haven't seen dandelion greens on any menus, but that could be opportunity for some aspiring chef - just call 'em "soffione," charge $4.99 for a little bunch, and don't tell anybody they grow in the back yard.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Dandelion greens are pretty common in France. They call them pisse-en-lit because of their mildly diuretic properties. How charmant.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      You probably know this but.

                      Dandelion is a corruption of another French name, dents de lion, lion's teeth after the shape of the leaf.

              2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Because I'm dyslexic? I don't know how I read the rest of that list correctly and not that one.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  You misunderstand. Those two are reversed -- in the wrongs column of your listing.

                  1. re: steve8rox

                    In my listing, the US terms are on the left, the UK terms on the right. I'm not sure I understand your meaning, as all the British cookbooks and media I've read call it rocket, and the US terms are discussed above.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      If there is any misunderstanding, Caitlin is right. We call it rocket. As with many culinary terms, we take a FRench derivation, whereas Americans appear to more often take an Italian derivation. I presume the latter reflects immigration patterns, while the former reflects the fact that France is only 22 miles away.

                      1. re: Harters

                        And the small matter of William the Conquerer and those pesky Normans. Didn't they speak French in the court for quite a long time?

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            Yep - they spoke French. Until we swapped dynasties and they started speaking German., Funny how German cuisine has never really caught on in the UK, isn't it. I wonder why?

                            1. re: Harters

                              I lived there for a while. It's absence is justifiable.

                            2. re: greedygirl

                              One really interesting thing about the English language relates to this. After 1066, the French courtiers brought their staff with them from France, including chefs. The Anglo Saxons did what they always did, tending to the animals. So the French were the indoor servants and the Anglo Saxons were the outdoor servants. This is why, in English, the word for the animal -- cow, sheep, pig -- is of Anglo Saxon origin, but the word for the meat -- beef, lamb, pork, is of French origin.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                lamb is agneau in French, the English word lamb is of Anglo Saxon origin according to the OED.

                                1. re: smartie

                                  Sheep and mutton / mouton are the respective words here, following roxlet's lead.

                                  Odd that this is not true of ducks, chickens and geese.

                                  1. re: smartie

                                    Sorry -- right you are on lamb! It is odd about the ducks, chickens and geese though!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Good book for CHers who are language nuts (there are a lot of us out there) - "Globish" - there was a segment on it on NPR Morning Edition last week and it was reviewed in the NYT. Goes into a lot of the origins and the state of the English language worldwide.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Thanks for reminding me! The first time I tried to get the book, it wan't out on the Kindle yet, but apparently they have it now!

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            The one by Robert McCrum, who also cowrote The Story of English with W. Cran and Robert MacNeil (whose presence I miss on the NewsHour). Listen to the NPR thing, he has a very nice voice.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              I started reading it last night. It seems that the first part of the book rehashes a lot of what I know about the development of English (I was a Medieval lit major in college), so I haven't yet gotten to the development of "Globish." BTW, smartie, I should have said mutton, not lamb above. Right you are Paulustrious!

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                thanks. i'm gonna check our library.

                        1. I've only ever seen capsicum refer to the chemical that makes peppers spicy, not to refer to a bell pepper, and I've only seen coriander refer to the seed, not the leaf (aka cilantro). Maybe those are regional US things?

                          Not quite on topic, but in England a few years ago I gave my hosts a good laugh at my expense by not knowing the UK definition of "pants" and offering to show off my great new pair...

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: Emmmily

                            Good catch! I reversed the US and UK on bell pepper/capsicum and cilantro/coriander; I'll go back and edit.

                            ETA: fixed those in the OP.

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Funny, I just saw capsicum used for the first time. It was on a jar of preserved veggies in a chinese supermarket - "capsicum in oil" was the only English on the bottle. Interesting!

                            2. re: Emmmily

                              most are USA v UK. Capsicum v bell pepper is switched, as the corinander v cilantro

                              pudding and custard are used differently
                              In the USA, pudding is almost always a sweet, stiff sauce that is eaten with a spoon. Custard is a stiffer, almost gelled sweet. UK pudding (I think) has a very wide use; custard often means the same as the US pudding.

                              1. re: paulj

                                Yeah, I edited to fix that error.

                                My understanding is pudding is sometimes used to mean dessert generally, as well as for things like steamed puddings.

                                I've seen poured custard used in UK English where in the US we'd say creme anglaise.

                                US jelly vs. UK ? We both use jam, but is there a UK product equivalent to US clear jelly (jam without pieces of fruit)? Here, jelly, jam, and preserves are all variations on the theme, the difference being in whether there's solid fruit and how large the pieces are.

                                US jello (from Jell-O brand) or gelatin vs. UK jelly

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Some preserves without fruit in them are called jelly - redcurrant jelly being the most common.

                                  Pudding = dessert. And custard is indeed creme anglaise, although it can also refer to a cream/eggs combo such as the base of a creme brulee.

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    Grape jelly vs. grape jam very very common

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      except for black pudding and blood pudding

                                      1. re: thew

                                        We don't have blood pudding in the UK. It's just black pudding (and white pudding in Scotland and Northern Ireland)

                                2. re: Emmmily

                                  Most people just call them peppers and refer to them by colour (color!).

                                  Years ago when I was working in publishing I organised a book tour for the American children's author Judy Blume. She was highly amused to be appearing on a popular kid's TV show over here - Blue Peter! Equally, the students she spoke to found it hilarious that her daughter was called Randy....

                                  1. re: Emmmily

                                    It's capsaicin that makes peppers hot, not capsicum. Easy to get confused with those two.

                                    1. re: Emmmily

                                      I think there are very few people who use capsicum anymore. They are called bell peppers everywhere; on packaging at the supermaket, recipes, etc..

                                      1. re: nanette

                                        Or, more commonly, just "peppers".

                                        1. re: nanette

                                          Maybe in the States. Here in OZ they are always refered to as either a reg or green or yellow capsicum. If you asked the average Joe for a bell pepper, they'd have no idea what you were on about.

                                          1. re: purple goddess

                                            Also in Bhutan, who 99% likely got the term from India, and if they use it in India, that's a whole lot of capsicum!

                                          2. re: Emmmily

                                            Er...sorry but I think you mean capsaicin as the heat-causing chemical. Capsicum DOES mean the pepper itself, but it's generally used only in Australia, not England.

                                          3. As a Brit in Florida here are some more

                                            self rising - self raising
                                            chili - chili con carne
                                            baked potatoes - jacket potatoes
                                            scallions - spring onions
                                            coffee with cream - white coffee
                                            rutebaga - swede
                                            golden raisins - sultanas
                                            almond flour - ground almonds

                                            we could also do a section on foods that are not seen on shelves in both countries and I don't mean branded goods but things like sweet butter in the US which does not exist in the UK, the various types of cream that the UK has which America does not. I have never seen semolina in the US.

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: smartie

                                              Semolina is available in the US, but usually you must go to specialty grocers to find it.

                                              1. re: smartie

                                                Semolina is known in the US among profesionals, but not commonly found in groceries. I've found it in a health food store (bulk section), and import sections and stores (Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian).

                                                1. re: smartie

                                                  I didn't realise that almond flour was simply ground almonds. Who knew? No wonder I've been confused by the discussion about one of the cakes from COTM!

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    I only discovered this when I baulked at the price of almond flour and "substituted" almond meal (ordinary ground almond processed in my blender, just a bit). Worked fine.

                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                      Almond meal made at home in the food processor is coarser and oilier than almond flour purchased comercially. You can often substitute, but as a baker I consider them different things.

                                                  2. re: smartie

                                                    Chili con carne is loaded with kernels of corn, whereas chili here in Northern Ontario, Canada, doesn't -- it may have Roadkill in it !!

                                                    Question : How does a Brit order coffee, double cream, double sugar, in the UK ?

                                                    1. re: steve8rox

                                                      you order white coffee in England, they rarely put sugar in your coffee unless you go to a real caff (greasy spoon and get take out (take away) otherwise sugar is always at the table.
                                                      If you ask for cream for your coffee you would have to be somewhere upscale and then you would get single or double cream.

                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                        By double cream, do you mean what American's call heavy cream? Or just extra cream?

                                                        Actually, having cream in coffee is considered pretty old-fashioned these days. Most places serve milk. In the better places it will be hot. Cream with coffee is something I associate with provincial tea shops, when it comes in those little portion-sized tubs.

                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                          American cream isn't like English cream, just doesn't have the same viscosity and taste and colour. I guess heavy cream is as close to double cream as it comes.

                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                            Cream is dependent on diet and sterilisation. In general the UK's cream is not sterilised. UK double cream has more fat than anything I've seen in the US, clotted cream even more so.

                                                            Edit:: Wikipedia told me abunch of stuff I didn't know...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream

                                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                                            Since the OP is Canadian, I'll chime in:

                                                            A "double double" in Canada (the "coffee" is understood) is a coffee with two helpings of cream (usually 10%, sometimes 18%), and two helpings of sugar. Some, who are clearly neither diabetic nor cardio-conscious, order "triple triple".

                                                            The following conversation is repeated thousands of times daily across the country:

                                                            "I'm going to Tim's - want anything?" (Tim Horton's is a ubiquitous doughnut chain.)

                                                            "Yeah - a double double and an apple fritter/bagel/sandwich/sack of Timbits"

                                                            1. re: FrankD

                                                              Is the coffee so bad there that you have to adulterate it in such a way?

                                                              1. re: cathodetube

                                                                love me some adulterated coffee. very comforting! reminds me of my childhood, when my grandparents introduced me to milky coffee. i got some coffee with my milk in a pretty china teacup.

                                                              2. re: FrankD

                                                                in new york-ese a regular coffee used to mean "with milk and 2 sugars"

                                                                that usage seems to be dying out though

                                                                1. re: FrankD

                                                                  OP is Canadian? News to me, I thought US born and bred. Caitlin?

                                                        2. I'm not sure about the snow peas and mangetout. I also see snow peas in my UK supermarket and they are bigger and thicker than what's called mangetout. Maybe it's just a different variety. Being an American, living here was very confusing at the start. :-)

                                                          Something else that's different is chow mein. In the UK, it usually refers to a strictly noodle dish - not too many veggies like bean sprouts in it (at least at my local).

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: zuriga1

                                                            Do you mean sugar snap peas? They're usually bigger than mangetout?

                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Sugar snaps are fat, like regular peas in pods, but you can eat the whole thing. Snow peas are flat, and also fully edible. Which one is mangetout?

                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  Makes sense, since for snow peas you "eat the whole thing"!

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                          2. We have both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. I'm not sure what the difference is, or whether you have two versions as well. I just do what it says in the recipe....

                                                            Here's a few more

                                                            Appetiser vs starter/first course
                                                            Entree vs main course (this one is especially confusing given that entree means starter in French)
                                                            Lima beans vs butterbeans
                                                            Favas vs broad beans

                                                            Also cuts of meat are quite different as well. Short ribs are not something you see a lot round these parts, or tri-tip, or pork butt (is that the same as pork shoulder?). And then we've got the whole cups/imperial vs metric thing, although that's complicated by the fact that lots of cookery books use both as pounds and ounces are still in common usage. Sometimes it's a challenge cooking from the American COTMs, but you lot are usually on hand to help!

                                                            Other things we don't have in Britain:

                                                            Half and half
                                                            Fat-free sour cream
                                                            Bisquick
                                                            Crisco (I think this might be called something else)
                                                            Jicama
                                                            Egg beaters (what are they?)

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Baking powder is baking soda mixed with citric acid (citric acid is a dry white powder). In the presence of water baking powder releases carbon dioxide so it acts as a raising agent. That is why it must be kept very dry and has a definite shelf life since it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. In the presence of water baking soda dissolves.

                                                              Baking soda = sodium bicarbonate = bicarbonate of soda = sodium hydrogen carbonate

                                                              Baking soda reacts with any acid, such as in tomato sauce to produce one or more salts of various types. These salts may have an unpleasant taste, which some people find more offensive than others. It is also the fastest acting 'cure' for acid indigestion, provided you can burp.

                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                crisco is a vegetable based shortening. used in place of lard in most recipes.

                                                                egg beaters is a proprietary name for egg whites with food coloring. not exactly an egg substitute since it is egg, just omitting the yolk for "health" reasons.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  You can find bisquick most places these days, though I don't know why people would bother.

                                                                  Single cream is similar in fat content to half and half, though it is 18% and half and half can be as low as 12%.

                                                                  Totally bumed we don't have "fake eggs" here or egg whites in a carton.

                                                                  1. re: nanette

                                                                    Don't be bummed about not having Eggbeaters - I even bring real eggs camping in the cooler. Can't stand those things!

                                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                                    In America, lima beans are young, green and grassy tasting; while butterbeans are large, beige and buttery. Is that the same in the UK?

                                                                    1. re: just_M

                                                                      Just M, it's not quite that simple. Here in the US if you buy large dry lima beans, you get what is sold here, canned, as butter beans. I once looked this up on Wikipedia, which said the term 'lima' is used to refer to a variety of beans.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        that is true, greygarious. my dad loved the "big limas," and so do we. he was originally from illinois; mom was from panhandle florida, and called the big limas "butterbeans." i think that was when they were fresh, though -- not dried. alas, i cannot ask her now.

                                                                  3. Americans have something called a 'graham cracker', which seems to be a digestive biscuit. Is it the same thing?

                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

                                                                      Greedygirl: Egg Beaters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_Beaters. A recipe that calls for baking soda usually has an acidic ingredient as well, such as sour cream/buttermilk (the science behind it eludes me).

                                                                      While digestive biscuits are used in the UK as a sub for graham crackers, they are not the same thing. Graham crackers are thin and have a different flavour to the oaty/wheaty taste of digestives.

                                                                      1. re: Athena

                                                                        There's nothing in that Wiki link, I'm afraid, so I'm non the wiser!

                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                          Egg Beaters (and there are similar products under different brand names) are a low-cholesterol alternative to eggs in the shell. It's mostly egg whites (no yolk) to which nutrients and coloring have been added.

                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            Nothing like that here. Probably too many memories of rationing (powdered egg)! Plus egg-white omelettes aren't that popular here.

                                                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                                                            I'm sorry! Don't know why the link didn't work.

                                                                            1. re: Athena

                                                                              It does work, but the article doesn't have anything in it.

                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                If you still want to read the article, click the link and delete the period at the end of the url.

                                                                            2. re: Athena

                                                                              Graham crackers are also much lower in fat than digestive biscuits. At least, the ones we get from India are loaded with fat.

                                                                            3. re: Ibrahim.Salha

                                                                              Graham crackers are named after an American, Rev. Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), who promoted a flour and diet high in wheat bran. Graham flour has coarser bran and wheat germ than regular whole wheat flour (they are milled separately).

                                                                              1. re: Ibrahim.Salha

                                                                                And graham crackers are a necessary ingredient in s'mores - a sandwich with graham crackers in place of bread, filled with a toasted marshmallow and a chocolate square. Yummy!

                                                                                1. re: bakinggirl

                                                                                  Oh, absolutely! We even have an little hibachi so we can make s'mores in the house, should we feel like it. Although I don't recall paying $60 for ours! Come to think of it, I believe it was a gift. Thank you, Laurianne!
                                                                                  http://www.chefsresource.com/pupucomb...

                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                    kattyeyes, i'm not sure that running an hibachi in the house is wise? maybe i'm confusing that situation with running a generator in the garage?

                                                                                    but you're alive to tell the tale, so.......

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      No, no--perfectly safe. They run on sterno like the old school pu pu platters from back in the day Chinese places. Our local one was the Hu Ke Lau! :)

                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                        that reminds me, you said in some thread about the funny name of the asian/viet store ("dong"?) -- there was a thread with funny restaurant names that was hilarious. if you haven't seen it yet, i'll find it. here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536969

                                                                                        (my sighting: "the squat and gobble" by I-95 in georgia).

                                                                              2. Thank you for the credit.

                                                                                Saute vs Fry
                                                                                Broil vs Grill
                                                                                Grill vs Griddle (well sort of)

                                                                                Canadian Bacon vs Back bacon
                                                                                Bacon vs Streaky Bacon (close enough anyway)

                                                                                Hard cider, vs cider
                                                                                Cider vs Apple juice

                                                                                Lemonade - equivalent doesn't exist in UK as a word really
                                                                                Sprite / lemon soda vs lemonade (Except in the UK you can get orange lemonade)

                                                                                supper vs tea (there are regional variations here which include 'dinner')

                                                                                candy vs sweets
                                                                                dessert vs dessert OR sweet

                                                                                English muffin vs muffin (guess that makes sense)

                                                                                Cookie - Biscuit
                                                                                Biscuits (as in biscuits with gravy) - I don't know how to translate that one

                                                                                Pancake - nearest I can get is drop scone or scotch pancake
                                                                                Crepe - Pancake

                                                                                Boston lettuce vs Bibb lettuce

                                                                                Pint (16 ounces) vs Pint (20 ounces) - and gallons have same 20% disparity.

                                                                                And then there are just words like spud, pasty, banger.

                                                                                86 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                  Speaking of soda, when London BF is in residence here I sometimes get tripped up on that word. I believe that in the UK “soda” refers only to carbonated water and/or perhaps seltzer. Are other fizzy waters called only by brand name or flavor, such as Coke or root beer?

                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                    They're known as soft drinks or fizzy "pop". Soda is specifically soda water.

                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                        Seltzer only used in conjunction with "alker" as in hangover cure!

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          In UK or USA? Because I live in US and I use seltzer all the time as carbonated water.

                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                            UK, g-girl's a Brit.

                                                                                            My suspicion is that seltzer (which has its roots in German) came to American English via Yiddish, but that's just a guess.

                                                                                  2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                    The broil thing really confused me for a while. I thought it was something special that only American ovens could do!

                                                                                    "Orange lemonade" = orangeade. But usually called by its brand name, normally Fanta. The American-style lemonade is usually called still lemonade.

                                                                                    The muffin thing is becoming more confused, as American-style muffins are now very popular here.

                                                                                    Supper/tea/dinner - that's VERY complicated - you could almost write a thesis on it! It's often class-related as well as regional. Really posh people often call their evening meal supper whereas for most people supper is a snack before going to bed. Calling your evening meal "tea" is quite a northern thing.

                                                                                    Dessert vs dessert OR sweet OR pudding.

                                                                                    Biscuits with gravy - doesn't exist. Similarly breakfast sausage.

                                                                                    And grilling in the American sense is normally called barbecuing, I think.

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      There are regional differences in the US too with dinner/supper, even though we don't have tea. My dad always calls his evening meal supper and I had a college roommate from nearby his area that called lunch dinner.

                                                                                      1. re: queencru

                                                                                        While 'tea' as a meal is rarely used in the US, the dinner / lunch / supper pairing is more variable (in both countries). The lunch and supper articles of Wiki are interesting reading, and likely to leave you more confused after reading than before.

                                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                                          I believe calling lunch dinner is a pretty old-fashioned thing, not common since the earlier part of the 20th century.

                                                                                          greedygirl, I have experienced the opposite confusion with the grill vs. broil thing when looking at UK cookbooks: "Put it UNDER the grill? Wha...?"

                                                                                          I hope some of our Australian hounds will chime in, too. I recall purple goddess saying in another thread that in Australia, it's eggplant and zucchini (but they do use capsicum), and ketchup is tomato sauce. (In the US, there's an entirely other product called tomato sauce, that is an ingredient.)

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            Yes, I've had the same confusion about putting it "under" the grill. I was trying to imagine what kind of grill one could cook things under!

                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                              I cook black widow spiders under my grill all the time.

                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                In the US and Canada I do not recall seeing an 'eye-level' grill. Unless you are two years old.

                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                  Restaurant salamanders can be near adult eye level.

                                                                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                                    I didn`t know that word - I`ve never worked in the restaurant trade. Here is a n example of a cooker with an eye level grill (broiler).

                                                                                                    http://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/_50...

                                                                                                    Also very common are cookers of this type (both gas and electric).

                                                                                                    http://www.appliancesonline.co.uk/pro...

                                                                                                    There are two ovens, the top one of which is used primarily as a grill (UK) or broiler (US). Another difference between most UK and US ovens is that the lower element is normally not visible.

                                                                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  In Canada, our old electric oven had a suspended heating element at the very top of the oven chamber itself, named a grill, on the control panel.

                                                                                                3. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  Ketchup also known as tomato sauce here. I don't think we have the canned tomato sauce that you have in the States.

                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                    There are plenty of jar tomato sauces- possibly a smaller selection, but I bought them all the time in the UK.

                                                                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                                                                      queencru, are you referring to, for example, jarred tomato pasta sauce or to the canned (in tins) "tomato sauce" (that's what it's called on the can) that is an ingredient like tomato paste and sold in the US next to the tomato paste? Because people outside the US have occasionally asked on Chowhound what the latter is when they saw it called for in a recipe someone posted.

                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                        I have bought at a multi-ethnic produce stand and grocery, some Italian tomato sauce. It is labeled as Passata di Pomodoro. In small type the English translation is Strained Tomatoes. It's a little simpler than the typical American tomato sauce (no onions, etc), but still usable in the same way. It was shelved in a section with a variety of eastern European products.

                                                                                                    2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                      Here in Canada:

                                                                                                      Tomato Sauce = everything from puréed tomatoes (e.g. Itallian Passata – certainly not concentrated like tomato paste) through to fully seasoned, ready-to-use pasta sauce (like a marinara or putanesca).

                                                                                                      So, what are pureed tomatoes in a can called in the UK? Do Brits use passata for that?

                                                                                                      1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                        Yes - that's passata or seived tomatoes. What we don't have is canned tomato sauce with onions etc. We do have pasta sauce, but I thought that was different.

                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                          Ah, I'd just consider our tomato sauce with onions, garlic, and maybe a few seasonings in it to simply be very very simple/bland pasta sauce or just think of it as a pasta sauce base to which you can add things.

                                                                                                    3. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      Actually calling lunch dinner might be "old fashioned", but I know plenty of 20 somethings who call lunch dinner. And school lunches are still called school dinners.

                                                                                                      It is very much a regional and class thing as greedygirl highlighted.

                                                                                                      1. re: nanette

                                                                                                        Is this in the US or the UK? I was speaking of the US in particular (where school lunches are called school lunches, and the evening meal is dinner or supper, depending on who and perhaps where you are).

                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                          In the US, I knew people who called lunch "dinner" and the evening meal "supper." It's really a regional thing. My college roommate was from a small town in rural Indiana and my father is from NW Indiana and still uses those terms.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Sorry, the threading on this has gotten so long and not very well divided it is hard to follow. I meant the UK.

                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                          Caitlin, I've been looking for the other thread on this very subject, but my brain is fried right now.

                                                                                                          Tomato sauce is a condiment, passata is an ingredient.

                                                                                                          The other issue that never ceases to annoy me is that you Americans use different measurements. And I'm not just talking about converting from ounces to grams, basic recipe indicators such as teaspoon and tablespoon. A tablespoon in an American recipe is a different amount from the Imperial/Metric measurements used in UK and OZ.

                                                                                                          ED TO ADD: Here's the link to the last discussion on this.. very VERY funny thread!

                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/523985

                                                                                                          1. re: purple goddess

                                                                                                            I am American and I hate the American measurement system. It would be so much easier to put everything in mL or grams or something, not this teaspoon, tablespoon, pint, etc nonsense.

                                                                                                            1. re: queencru

                                                                                                              But that American system was inherited, with some modification, from the English.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                And the British, when they saw a far superior system, were smart enough to adopt it. How many drams in a gill, again?

                                                                                                            2. re: purple goddess

                                                                                                              Much as I wish we'd switch to metric in general, I like our pints and cups and tablespoons etc. If we were ever to metricize, I hope we'd leave our recipes unchanged. At least for cooking. In baking, weights makes much more sense.

                                                                                                              But one thing I've always wondered, does everyone in metric countries have a kitchen scale? Even the people who don't do much cooking/baking? Scales seem to be pretty rare in American kitchens.

                                                                                                              1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                Orange, I have a wonderful cup measure made by a company called Tala. I bought it in England about 20 years ago, my mum always used one, and as far as I know they are still available. It is a conical shape made of tin and is marked inside with grammes, lbs and oz, fluid oz, and English and American cups, and separates flour, sugar, rice etc into different weights.

                                                                                                                So I have always used that for baking. There is a generation in the UK between about 45 and 55 years old who were taught imperial measures at first in school and then were wickedly switched to metric so we are capable of interchanging metric to imperial without any problem.

                                                                                                                That being said I still bake in lbs and oz and if I see a metric recipe I mentally calculate all ingredients to imperial before I start.

                                                                                                                But yes, Brits who bake use scales, either the old fashioned ones with weights or the type with a dish and a clock scale.

                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                  I think you're right, smartie. I feel pretty interchangeable these days.

                                                                                                                  I now think of a bag of sugar as 1 kg, not 2lbs. And can cook in metric and imperial. But I'm still 5' 8" and weigh 16 stone (yep, I'm a little fat man).

                                                                                                                  I buy petrol in litres but still talk about the car's consumption in miles per gallon and drive it in miles per hour. Which is a real nuisance when my Spanish brother in law and I do "men's car talk" , as he prefers to think in kilometres per litre and kph. I can usually handle one of the conversions but not two at the same time.

                                                                                                                  And, on international discussion boards, I always convert to metric as it's, erm, more international. Except a pint of milk is still a pint, even when it's a half a litre.

                                                                                                                  J

                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                    I think most people in Britain mix and match a bit. I'm 5'8 too (but not 16 stone!) and can do both metric and imperial.

                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                      I'm not so sure about the "most". My fave story.....

                                                                                                                      ....I was buying some ham in the market hall at Ashton under Lyne about 5 years back. I asked for 125g. Woman next in the queue is a few years older than me, maybe mid-60s. She says "Ooooh, luv, I'll never get used to that foreign stuff - I'm only just able to work out the new money".

                                                                                                                      It was 1973 when we changed to decimal currency!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        Brilliant!! We changed to decimal currency the year I was born, but changed to metric in 1973, so I had a few years of schooling in the old system. Like you, I think in metric and imperial.

                                                                                                                        I can calculate horizontal length in metric, but I am 5ft 9 (but my ideal weight is 75kgs!)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                          Wow, I'm almost afraid to ask ... how did non-decimal currency work?

                                                                                                                          Germans still use "pfund" (pound) to refer to a half kg, which makes sense. But unlike here in France where it's reasonable that prices are still posted in francs for those who couldn't learn to calculate in Euros (you try to divide by 6,5!) -- I just have to laugh when you sometimes hear older Germans ask for a price in Deutschmarks. (The conversion is 2DM=1€)

                                                                                                                          1. re: tmso

                                                                                                                            You really don't want to know. But if you want to waste a portion of your remaining life you can start here:

                                                                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_Day

                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                      My mum has one of those, it is WONDERFUL! I have been looking for one for years, but with no success (I am in Aus)

                                                                                                                      1. re: AussieBeth

                                                                                                                        scrounge around Salvos, or even better garage sales of deceased estates. That's where I got mine (suburban Melb)

                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                          That's sounds a bit tedious. At least you can use recipes from both sides of the Atlantic. I don't know if we Yanks will ever join the twenty-first century. Or, um, would that be nineteenth?

                                                                                                                          I recently purchased a digital scale. Comes in handy way more than I would have imagined.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                            I use my scale all the time - love that it measures in both metric and pounds/oz.

                                                                                                                          2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                            my mom still uses one when she makes her German recipes. I had to buy one from the German store when she sent her recipes to me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                              I have one of those Tala cup measures. They are hard to find now! Invaluable.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                          Supper in my area of the US is always an evening meal, while dinner is the largest meal of the day, usually in the evening. Lunch is always midday, but a large midday meal can be dinner, usually on a holigay or Sunday ( eg, Sunday dinner and Thanksgiving dinner) and can be at any time on the designated day. And, of course, there can be a light supper if you had dinner midday.

                                                                                                                    3. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                      Cloudy lemonade approaches similarity with US lemonade.

                                                                                                                      Most Brits will distinguish with pancakes and will say "american pancakes" when refering to what Americans call pancakes.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nanette

                                                                                                                        I find this quite interesting, since I speak another version of commonwealth English - South African English. After living in the States for four years, I came back calling flapjacks 'pancakes' (since this is the type of pancake found predominantly in the US). But in South Africa, a pancake automatically assumed to be a crepe. Irritates my boyfriend when I get them confused.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                        I thought that what we in North America would call lemonade (or orangeade) is called a "lemon (or orange) squash" in the UK.

                                                                                                                        And what we call in "steak sauce" in North America is usually "brown sauce" in the UK. Similarly, "ketchup" is "tomato sauce".

                                                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                          There's that USA thing. Here in Canada (maybe just Toronto?) in the other 50% of North America it tends to go by the brand name of HP. In the US I think you can get away in most places by calling it A1.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                            I live in Toronto; yes, HP is fairly common, and when I was in the UK a few years back, I asked for it at the B&B where I was staying. "Oh", replied my hostess, "You mean brown sauce". And at my local No Frills - which doesn't have the widest selection of anything - there's a whole variety of "steak sauces", including HP, A1, Heinz 57, Lea and Perrin's, and others.

                                                                                                                            A1 is, IMHO, an inferior, watery substitute to HP, but if you get more than 100 miles south of the US-Canada border, asking for HP at a restaurant gets you a blank look. When you ask for A1 to go with your eggs instead of ketchup, you get an incredulous look. And when they actually see you mixing the sauce with the egg yolks, you get the same look of horror and transfixment that car wrecks engender.

                                                                                                                            1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                              Huh. I eat A-1 with my eggs all the time and never get weird looks. I live in Phoenix, only a few hours from the other 9% of North America.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                And another 24% of North Americans!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                  Indeed. And a fun bunch they are! I sure gave them weird looks when I was offered a super spicy chile flavored candy!

                                                                                                                            2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                              Of North America, Canada represents 46% of area; the US 45%, and Mexico 9%.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                    So Canada should be happy we let them get away with all those extra 'u's and such...waaaay outnumbered! : )

                                                                                                                            3. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                              I think squash is without equivalent in the US. It is closer to a cordial than lemonade.

                                                                                                                            4. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                              Does UK spud refer to a potato? Spud is used as a slangy/colloquial word for potato in the US.

                                                                                                                              Boston and Bibb lettuce are used interchangeably in the US.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                The word spud for potato is commonly used in Ireland which explains why the Brits use it.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                I thought lemonade was called "squash". No?

                                                                                                                                1. re: WCchopper

                                                                                                                                  yes squash in the UK is cordial in the US. There is no English substitute for fresh lemonade because it's not very common, the bottled stuff is orange squash, lemon squash or mixed fruit squash.
                                                                                                                                  Lemonade in England is Sprite or 7-Up. If you ask for lemonade there you will get fizzy colourless lemon tasting soda.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                    So, squash is fruit-flavored syrup that you dilute with water? That's what I think is meant by cordial (rather than a liqueur, the other common meaning of cordial).

                                                                                                                                    ETA: I guess Ribena would be called a cordial, no? I understand it was, at least in decades past, promoted as healthful for kids, but I discovered it as an adult and I love anything blackcurrant

                                                                                                                                    P.S. The site is screwing up the editing function - if you see the first paragraph repeated below, that's why.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                      pretty sure Ribena is subtitled Blackcurrent cordial. Full of sugar though and dreadful for teeth.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                        Well, I've just put a bit in a glass and filled up with fizzy water for the flavor, as I do with other such syrups, but soda is soda, I guess!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                          when I took my children to the dentist for the first time with baby teeth, he made me promise that I would never ever ever give them Ribena. I kept the promise and my kids all in their 20s now have never had a cavity. My children's friends who were given Ribena? Many of them had milk teeth rotted and filled.
                                                                                                                                          I do like Ribena but it's used only when we are sick with flu with hot water.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                            You could make a Kir with a Tb or so of it too, I suppose...love blackcurrant too. The jam is the best jam ever.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Mrs H is a kir fan. Whenever we visit France, we stock up on foodie goodies at the supermarket in Calais before catching the ferry home. Creme de cassis is always on the shopping list - but they also sell a range of other cremes which she likes - creme de mur is a favourite.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    Is that the same as Wall's ice cream?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                      You're right - should be creme de mure.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                        I struggel to spell in Inglish, let alone Franch.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      I love creme de peche for a rose peche, dry rose with a splash of creme de peche. A variation on the kir that's a great summer aperitif.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                        creme de peche? <ears perking up>

                                                                                                                                                        tell us more.....

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                          It's a sweet liqueur, the peach equivalent of creme de cassis, etc.. Very sweet and peachy. There are a few brands pretty readily available in the US, like Massenez and Mathilde.

                                                                                                                                                          I love a rose peche during the warm months (I'm liking Cotes du Rhones roses, which are often well priced) - very sunny and refreshing. Of course, it's also good for things like drizzling over vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                            The brand we buy in France is L'Heritier-Guyot. They do cassis, mure, framboise, peche and Mrs H likes them all (I don't drink alcohol these days). Google also mentions that they do a creme de violette but I have no idea what that might be like.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              L'Heritier-Guyot have the prettiest bottles. I have some Monin Creme de Violettes at home but haven't tried it yet. Monin Rose Syrup also makes a nice summer aperitif when combined with sparkling wine. The creme de peche/rosé combo sounds reay good - will have to try that one.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                              thank you, caitlin. i'm putting it on my shopping list.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                            Ooh I didn't know that (creme de peche) existed. With rosé that's got my name on it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                  You're starting to get fresh lemonade here - my favourite pizza place sells it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                    "Lemonade...that cool, refreshing drink!"
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bojnqB...

                                                                                                                                                    It's one of my favorites. Cannot imagine it not being available. You get fresh limes and lemons. What else would you make "when life gives you lemons" if not lemonade? :) GG, do you make your own?

                                                                                                                                            1. Fun thread! This is just what I need to get me through the Hopkinson, Ottolenghi, and Rose Bakery Cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                              Do you have

                                                                                                                                              porcini vs. cepes yet?

                                                                                                                                              That hung me up for the longest time when we were cooking from Hopkinson!

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                They're interchangeable actually. Porcini is the Italian word, obviously and cepes is the French. I think more people say porcini, but I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                  It's very uncommon to call them cepes here, except, at a French restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              2. And then there are cuts of meat such as tenderloin vs fillet. These are quite confusing as the butchery is different between the two arenas. I am yet to see the word entrecote in Canada. I have no idea how to translate scrag end into Americanese.

                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                  Tenderloin is now routinely used for pork fillet - that's how they label it at my butcher.

                                                                                                                                                  Entrecote is a French cut similar to sirloin - no? We don't have entrecote either.

                                                                                                                                                  Scrag end is such a great phrase! I don't know what the American equivalent is either. Neck of lamb?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                    Cuts of meat are just impossible. I walk around London markets going "What's that? What's that? and my BF walks around NYC markets going "What that? What's that?"

                                                                                                                                                    There was something that seemed fairly common in London markets that I believe was called a Baron Chop. It was a double lamb chop that seemed to have been cut from the saddle. Looked like a gorgeous hunk of meat. My local butcher had no idea what I was talking about.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                      You probably mean a Barnsley chop? Not that common apart from in well-to-do parts of town. I'd have to specially request it I reckon.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                        Ah, yes. Barnsley chop. I guess I thought it rather common since in addition to butcher shops I'd seen them in a couple of supermarkets. Perhaps they were more up-market markets than I'd realized.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                          Are you coming to London any time soon JoanN? What part of town do you stay in?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                            His flat is just a couple of blocks from the old Tate. But no plans to come any time soon since we're planning a long trip to South America and are both saving our shekels.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                        I think "best end of lamb" is rack of lamb, as well.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                          I know this post is four months old... but the most useful information I have EVER gotten from the grocery store was a guide I picked up for free at Albertson's that translated American beef cuts into their closest Mexican Spanish equivalents, and vice versa. Since I normally buy my beef from Mexican markets, I used to have the damndest time trying to explain to someone what "diesmillo" or "palomilla" are.

                                                                                                                                                          It's amazing that eighty miles south of here, the style of butchery changes utterly.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                            The meat, full stop. I actually bring the cookbook into the butcher with me now, if I'm using an American cookbook, to make sure I'm getting the right thing. Even then, my butcher tells me some american cuts are more fatty or thicker than our local cuts, so recipes aren't always successful when followed religiously.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Sprite/7-Up vs. Lemonade. This was not a happy surprise for me when I first go to the UK since I hate Sprite.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Is peanut oil generally called groundnut oil in the UK?

                                                                                                                                                            popsicle vs. ice lolly - is that correct?

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                In my part of the world it was lolly-ice.

                                                                                                                                                            1. a few more things I thought of - Britain has a fantastic selection of creams, double, single, whipping and of course clotted.

                                                                                                                                                              I also have yet to understand why the electric kettle has never taken off in the US. I did manage to buy one in Walmart when I first got here but friends come over and ask in astonishment what that item is on my counter.

                                                                                                                                                              I did not know what a bialy was when I first came to America, they don't have them in Jewish shops.

                                                                                                                                                              also, corned beef is salt beef and they are not quite the same thing. British corned beef is a reconsituted type of meat which can be bought in a can, or sliced at the deli but it is nothing like deli corned beef.

                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                Electric kettles are wonderful. Since I first bought one, I've never looked back.

                                                                                                                                                                I think bialys came to the US with a certain set of immigrants (i.e., from a certain area).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                  Asian shops in the US sell quite a few electric kettles. There are even versions specifically for brewing medicinal teas.

                                                                                                                                                                  The canned corned beef is readily available in the US, right next to the Spam. Most comes from Argentina, Brazil, or (better ones) New Zealand and Australia. You can find more brands in Asian groceries.

                                                                                                                                                                  The deli corned beef, as with most deli things in the US, has its roots in Jewish NYC, traceable back to immigrants from eastern Europe. I wouldn't be surprised if the link between corned beef and St Patrick's day comes more from contact between NY Irish immigrants and Jewish ones, than from old Ireland.

                                                                                                                                                                  A number of the other differences between the US and UK come from other immigrant groups in the US. Cilantro comes via Mexico, even though Chinese use it, and apparently it used to be common in Europe. Arugula comes from Italian, though rocket might be an older derivative from Italian (or latin).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                    I'll blind taste test you on Brazilian / Argentinian vs. New Zealand / Australian canned corn beef.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      Re: canned corned beef. As SPAM is the national meat of Hawai'i, corned beef in a can (aka "pisupo" or "pea soup" - long story) is the national meat of Samoa. It's a big enough deal that you see cans of Ox & Palm being given as gifts at special occasions.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                        Of the brands that I've looked at, Ox & Palm seemed to be the 'healthiest', as in lowest in salt and fat, not that differences were that great. Since I only use a can once every two years (more or less), when I have nothing else in the camping box, I can't say much about the comparative taste or texture.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                      Geez, I can't think of a department store in Canada (or any kitchen goods store, for that matter) that DOESN"T have a wide selection of electric kettles. I love mine, since I live alone, and I can heat up water for a cup of coffee or tea in less than two minutes - far faster than using than stove.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                                                        Good article on electric kettles (and a few comments on their absence from the US) here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6075...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                        We finally began using an electric kettle after my English husband burned up his sixth tea kettle on the stovetop.
                                                                                                                                                                        More than twenty years in this country, and he still can't get used to a kettle that doesn't shut itself off.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                          The salt beef available in Jewish restaurants and areas of the UK is like US corned beef. Selfridges sells delicious salt beef sandwiches. The stuff in the tin is what Americans would use to make corned beef hash.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                            I never noticed an absence of electric kettles when I was in the States. But I was amazed how every home had an automatic coffee filter. I don't know anyone who has that here (South Africa) - most have a cafetiere, or now those fancy electric espresso makers.

                                                                                                                                                                            Something American which hasn't taken off widely in the UK or SA as far as I can see - the toaster oven. I miss that from my days in the States.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Also discovered Candy Floss = cotton candy.

                                                                                                                                                                            And the first time I went to Starbucks and asked for Half and half, they said "half what?" Stumped me! Still laugh when I think about it.

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Just One Bite

                                                                                                                                                                              Funny! I remember having some back and forth at a U.K. Starbucks about nonfat milk. I don't remember if "nonfat" was the term they weren't familiar with, or if it was something else. But I think they understood "fat-free" and "skim."

                                                                                                                                                                              I also remember being surprised about the "bacon" in a bacon sandwich (didn't resemble American bacon), but was quite happy once I dug in...

                                                                                                                                                                              I was also surprised at the pronounciation of "fillet" in the U.K.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: akq

                                                                                                                                                                                If you want American style bacon in a sandwich then ask if it is 'streaky' bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Just One Bite

                                                                                                                                                                                The US-Canada candy divide that I remember easiest is whether Smarties are a chocolate candy resembling M&Ms (Canada) or a wee puck-shaped candy made almost entirely of flavored sugar (US)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Just One Bite

                                                                                                                                                                                    Except that one of the 2 factories that makes American Smarties is in Ontario :)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. toffee apples - candied apples in the US?

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                  The ones covered in red candy are candied apples, the ones covered in caramel candy are caramel apples.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. tell you where I get in a mess with recipes are egg sizes. Large British eggs are much much bigger than American large eggs. I would say an American large egg is on a par with British medium.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Also available in British supermarkets are duck eggs and quail eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                    My local farmers' market ( in north west England), has a stall selling ostrich meat. Occasionally, they have ostrich eggs. One is the equivalent of 14 hens eggs - now that is one heck of an omelette. One day, I'll have to buy just to try.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                      If you do then blow the egg so you can keep the shell. They are a talking point, and you can start using words like cloaca.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a problem with egg color! Last year, I had friends with little kids coming from the US for Easter, and we couldn't find any white eggs to dye! Ended up using the Clarence Court eggs, and dying over the color!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Just One Bite

                                                                                                                                                                                        FWIW - I dyed about 80 quails eggs this year, and they were absolutely gorgeous. Much nice than the white eggs I tried, which kept coming out garish.

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                          They look like designer malted milk balls. :) What a lovely centerpiece! Note I did not say TABLESCAPE. Nice job!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                              Beautiful! I'm going to do that next year. Thanks for the idea, and the photos!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                            Second that, smartie. Egg sizes in Europe are different and a medium here is the same as a large in the US. Can really screw up your baking if you aren't aware of the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nanette

                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't know that. Weird, because chickens are generally bigger in the US, afaik.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Laying chickens and chickens raised for meat are separate industries raising different sorts of chickens, though. In all liklihood, the breeds used for both in North America are different than those in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chickens produce eggs in a whole range of sizes, they are then sorted according to size. Sizing standards developed independently in different countries, using different ranges, and different names.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Wiki article for eggs has several tables, for US, modern Europe, Australia, NZ

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's good to know about the eggs when I cook from British recipes - usually American ingredients, onions etc., are larger. I find quail eggs in our supermarket in Manhattan, but usually buy them in Chinatown, where they are much cheaper. At our farmers' market, I buy duck and pheasant eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had a HUGE problem converting egg sizes (and had correspondingly gooey cakes) until I finally THOUGHT about my great-grandmother's pound cake recipe (pound as in 453.6g), which calls for a pound of eggs, which comes to exactly 8 US "large" eggs. So a US "large" egg is 2 oz. or about 57g, weighed with the shell on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pork and Beans - Baked Beans (sometimes with pork / sausage)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Faucet - Tap

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cooktop - Hob

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Range - Cooker

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pickle - Pickled Gherkin

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ??? - Silver (skin) onions .... help

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fava beans - broad beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Green beans - string or runner beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aluminum - Aluminium (different pronunciation)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Licorice - Liquorice - (different pronunciation)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dutch Oven - Casserole dish

                                                                                                                                                                                                  [Pizza] Pie - Only ever called a pizza in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Washcloth - flannel

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Apron - Apron, pinafore or pinny

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am sure that with some of the above the divide is not black and white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A couple of things I have (almost) never seen in the US are soup spoons and fish knives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Soup spoons are common in the US; fish knives, much less so. You'll see them in elegant restaurants, but most who have them at home have inherited them in a complete set of silver service. I have some modern stainless steel ones (along with matching fish forks), but that's very unusual. Modern placesettings rarely include matching fish knives and forks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                      spatula - fish slice

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have an old Penguin paperback on Indian cooking that says

                                                                                                                                                                                                      'Now pick up the bread [chappati] on a fish slice, and if you are using gas, hold over a high flame with out turning. The bread will puff up and is then ready to eat.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think they're exactly the same, but in the US a silverskin onion would probably be a pearl onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                          carmel versus caramel! Even when it's spelled with the second A in the States, they don't pronounce it. I quite like that one, said with an American drawl...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it depends on where in the U.S. you were when you heard "carmel" for "carAmel". I've never said "carmel" except when referring to Carmel, CA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've seen it spelled that way (carmel) countless times, and it drives me nuts. The word is spelled "car-a-mel" (although I know it can be pronounced "kahr-muhl" in some areas, as you noted).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://dictionary.reference.com/brows...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd have to agree with you, Linda. In the areas where I've lived, caramel is pronounced by near everyone just as it's spelled. I fret that it's one of those things that people will start largely mispronouncing because it's so often misspelled. I don't mind that it's pronounced with the elided second 'a' in some areas because it's a geographical variation, I just don't want everyone, everywhere saying "carmel" only because they don't know the word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, I think your fretting is way too late, Caitlin. I see "carmel" all the time and have been hearing it more and more pronounced as if it was the California city (accent on the 2nd syllable). Even the "kahr-muhl" pronunciation I noted above has a slight middle syllable, vs. car-MEL, which is just. plain. wrong. when it's used in reference to the candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ugh. That sound you hear is my head banging against the wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Use some caramels to blunt the blow. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where I grew up (central NJ) it is pronounced with three syllables. The first one is the sound in "fat", the second one is schwa, the third one is the sound in "fell" with a fully-pronounced L sound. CAA-ruh-mell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here in LA more often I hear "CAR-mull" with a swallowed L. Makes me insane.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I grew up in Northern CA, where it is pronounced your central-NJ way, and that's how I heard it most in my NY days, as well. In either place, the latter pronunciation an exception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know it cannot help that it's often pronounced "CAR-muhl" by narrators in national ads. In fact, I'm sure that's among the chief culprits, because listeners assume those pronunciations are correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Awww. I really wish we hadn't got into pronounciation. We have regional differences as well in the UK with southerners having a long soft "A" and we northerners having it short and clipped. Generally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or scone (on which you have jam and cream). We call it a "skon". Other regions might call it a "sc-own".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I said above, I don't mind pronunciation differences that are genuine differences based on region, which are present within almost all nations. No objection there at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What I, and I think LindaWhit, were objecting to in this particular case is the standardization of a certain pronunciation that's not necessarily predominant geographically, based on a more and more common spelling error - one that is seen more and more often in commercial advertising.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Americans certainly say "sc-own," but then most of us haven't heard it said by speakers from the lands whence it came and I assume that's why American English takes it that the 'e' following the 'n' renders a long 'o' (as in stone).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Exactly - what Caitlin said re: pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's not get into the "scone" versus "skon" debate! It's not a regional thing - it's a family thing. My Yorkshire lot all say "scone".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If someone asked me for a "carmel" I'd wonder what the hell they were talking about!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            as an american, i'd always called it sc-own, until i had one at blenheim palace (in the "pleasure gardens café"), and they pronounced it "skon". then i thought, so *that's* the "correct" pronunciation. btw, it was the best, silkiest scone i've ever eaten! if anyone has the recipe, let me know! (i think a lot has to do with the butter, cream and flour, of course). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/494915

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nah. It's skon to ryhme with John, not scown to rhyme with Joan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But I would say that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                J

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DING DING DING! in the corner over here, we have the sc-owns...and in the opposite corner, the skons. at the bell, come out slugging!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.jirehcakes.com/slides/Boxi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My bad, as the Americans would say!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know it's silly, but SKOWn strikes me as stupid, whereas CARmel strikes me as charming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have always lived on the West coast of the US and for me carmel refers to a candy or a candy coating for things like carmel(pop)corn or carmel apples. Caramel refers to a sauce to top ice cream or a liquid placed in the bottom of flan/creme caramel, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: just_M

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have lived on the West Coast for a collective 31 years (born here, lived elsewhere at some points), and everyone I know uses caramel for all the things you mention - candy, sauce, flavoring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There goes my West Coast theory (40 years w/short breaks), must have been my Gran.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: just_M

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think carmel came into use from proprietary names used for confections like Karmel Korn. It's caramel for bicoastal (CA and NY) me all the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I was thinking doughnuts or donuts as the Yanks call them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I miss British doughnuts - slightly crispy outside dredged in castor sugar, doughy inside with a good dollop of strawberry or raspberry jam - heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  American donuts are too sweet, the texture is just wrong and all that frosting in sickly flavours like strawberry and caramel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will be back in Blighty for a few days in July and I am heading straight to a bakery for a doughnut and a Chelsea Bun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't really see any difference in the donut varieties, to be quite honest. Not all American donuts are the Krispy Kreme types (which I have had in the UK) that are really sweet. We have plenty of other types.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Castor sugar = superfine sugar or bakers sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very fine sugar - but not as fine as icing sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By icing sugar, do you mean what we Americans call powdered sugar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's right. I believe it's also called confectioner's sugar. It's used for making icing (or frosting, for you guys), funnily enough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes DQ powdered sugar is icing sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also the Brits don't call it frosting when you mix icing sugar with butter for a cake. It's called icing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, then use of the term "icing" instead of frosting is pretty common in the South. I'm not sure if I can speak for anyone else, but I tend to say "icing" when the application of butter-sugar mixture is thin and "frosting" when it is thick. To me, icing is usually more dense and frosting airy. Perhaps it's just a personal quirk. Could be because my geographic heritage is a mixture of Southern and Midwestern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm with you there and I'm from the Northeast--I think of icing as more applicable to gingerbread men; frosting is for cakes. So I think your thin/thick description works well. But I bet this varies all over the place!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That makes sense, except, the expression doesn't go, "Well, that's just the frosting on the cake!" The expression says "icing"--I wonder why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HA HA--maybe that expression has British origins? Now can I have my cake and eat it, too? ;) I know what it means, but that expression has always hit me the wrong way. If I HAVE the cake, you'd better believe I'm gonna EAT it, too. LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The original expression was "eat your cake and have it, too," which makes much more sense given the meaning of the idiom! Somewhere along the way it was inverted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think of icing as something that tends to be in a thin, hard layer- like on a sugar cookie or gingerbread man. Frosting is a bit fluffier and creamier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree! I grew up with the same definitions of icing/frosting. Just like queencru, icing reminds me of the thin sugary stuff mom would drizzle over a bundt cake and it would get hard, whereas frosting is usually soft, creamy and fluffy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's labeled icing sugar here in Canada, too, and we call it icing rather than frosting. Frosting is what ladies in the 70's did to their hair, before they called it "highlighting".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Completely agree! I'm another Brit living in the US, and there is no comparison with doughnuts. The ones I grew up eating were so monumentally different. The ones here are way too dense, and I think it's partly because they're not usually made with yeast. In England, the good ones are. I made some using an Italian recipe recently, and they were closer to the real thing. They were so good - fresh, warm and doughey!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love a nice American cinnamon roll - like the Cinnabon ones. Kind of like a Chelsea Bun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. All these comments and no one has yet mentioned one of my favorites: hard candy (US) = boiled sweet (UK).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But what flavour boiled sweet? Lemon, orange, blackcurrant (yuk), butterscotch, blackballs....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: toastnjam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          toastnjam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Plenty of choice here - http://www.aquarterof.co.uk/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I see the website also reports that the packaging of Sherbet Fountains is to be changed from paper to plastic. In some countries, there'd be rioting on the streets to protest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toastnjam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What!? Blackcurrant is the best, and unfortunately, something we only get in the US when buying imported British or French candies (er, boiled sweets). Probably in part because blackcurrants aren't really grown here (this has to do with plant disease; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackcur... ).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. There's caster sugar in the UK, which is super fine sugar here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Okay, I can't believe the chocolate bar comparison hasn't come up yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Milky Way - Mars Bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Musketeers - Milky Way

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If that's not confusing enough, until quite recently the US had a Mars Bar, too, which was nougat studded with whole almonds, covered in milk chocolate. It's no longer made, though (it was always less common, harder to find in my lifetime).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lord only knows why M&M/Mars couldn't have the same name for their candy bars the world over. Snickers is the same everywhere, I think, though greedygirl said in another thread that it used to be called Marathon in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yep Snickers used to be called Marathon, it got changed about 10 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hang on - a Milky Way is a Mars Bar in the US? How confusing is that? And weird because a lot of sweets were renamed to conform with some kind of international standard a while back - so Marathon became Snickers and Opal Fruits became Starburst. But some obviously slipped through the net.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The nougat studded with almonds is still available in France I think, where it's also known as Mars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No a US Milky Way is a UK Mars Bar (or is that what you were trying to say?). What you know in the UK as Milky Way is 3 Musketeers in the US. The almond-studded one was the US Mars Bar (discontinued). Confusing, indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So I assume Americans not in the know who hear of deep-fried Mars Bars think "huh," but have no idea they're hearing about deep-fried US Milky Way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I assume the other names weren't changed because it'd be super-confusing to have the name of one switch to the name of another pre-existing, different bar, and that become something else!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just amending as I reread my response to you, greedygirl, that I realize "or is that what you were trying to say?" sounds a bit rude. Apologies for that, as what I meant was really, "Maybe that's what you were saying," as I realized that I could simply have not understood you and was being dim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wait, wait... are you sure? The revered and unobtainable Mars Bar, so lauded by Brits and Canadians, is just ... a Milky Way? I thought Mars simply were not available anywhere in the States. I was hoping to try one on a future trip to another Anglo country. I am so disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry to rain on your fantasy travel parade. It's a Milky Way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And to add more confusion, American Milky Way bars are made at a plant in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, on the same line as Canadian Mars Bars. Canada doesn't keep any of the Milky Ways; they all get shipped across the border for sale in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blush

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hate to be the voice of dissent, but milky way (US) are nowhere NEAR as delicious as mars bars (UK). The chocolate is entirely different (like any UK candy bar, the chocolate is much richer and less "waxy" tasting), and the caramel isn't of the same quality. However, if you don't get down to the level of what it tastes like, it is the same. They did sell the UK version in the US for many years, but it was discontinued and now is only available in UK import stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The milky way (UK) bar is, however, the same as (US) 3 musketeers (although my British husband swears that the milky way is better).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you don't believe me on the Mars bars, taste them side-by-side with a US Milky Way. Then you'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Americans call them shrimps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Australians call them prawns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In Britain, we use both words and, for us, size is important.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The shrimp is a tiny thing, about 5mm long. Anything bigger is a prawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shrimps are, almost exclusively, fished from Morecambe Bay (off the north west coast of England) and, almost exclusively, they find their way into one of life's little luxuries - the potted shrimp. Nothing more than shrimp, butter and a touch of seasoning. Eaten as a starter with bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's the same beast that you find in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium where they turn up in salads and, my fave, the shrimp croquette. I'm in Belgium this weekend and can't wait to devour some croquettes (and a main course of mussels if the season is still open).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I miss those - I lived in the area for three years. And the odd thing is, the smaller the prawn / shrimp the more flavour it has. I remember smiling when I saw giant shrimp for sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (As an aside, in my memory Americans call them shimp - singular.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The closest thing you're likely to find this side of the pond are tasty little Maine shrimp, which are in season in late winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, shrimp is the word in both the singular and the plural. Like fish or deer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually... Prawn is used extensively in the U.S. referring to the larger beasts. In my experience... anything smaller than U20 is almost always shrimp... anything bigger is often referred to as prawns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I guess we just have a larger definition for large =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Possibly in some other parts of the country, but I've never seen the term prawn used here in New England, outside of the occasional curry house run by British Commonwealth expats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I see prawn used often by Chinese restaurants on their menus. And, now that I think about it, my ex-MIL, who is from Hong Kong, used prawn to refer to anything larger than small-medium shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looks like a West Coast usage, then. We'll have to start a new thread: East Coast and West Coast, One Country Divided by a Common Language. You say potato, we say edible tuber. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not strictly culinary, but I'm curious as to how far west you have to go before numbered highways acquire the definite article. You drive on the 101, we drive up 128.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I lived in New York for a number years, but I don't remember offhand whether I saw prawn used there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To your second point: you are mistaken, my friend. I drive on 101. Only in Southern California do they drive on *the* 101. To Northern Californian ears it sounds just as odd as it does to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I see prawns in Chinese restaurants in NY all the, fwiw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There was a tapa dish on a restaurant's menu in Somerville, MA that were called "prawns" - large, head-on shrimp. Aura in Boston has had prawns on their menu and I know I've seen it elsewhere. Now, perhaps, they just call them that ever oxymoronic "jumbo shrimp".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here in NorCal, spot prawns are called "prawns" regardless of size. Apparently they're true prawns, which are biologically distinct from true shrimp. Although once they've been incorporated into a coctel de camarones, the distinctions seem to fade...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure about what "true shrimp" might be in the US. The shrimp I mention earlier has the latin name of "Crangon Crangon". Known as the brown shrimp in the UK and the grey shrimp in France/Belgium/Netherlands. Same beast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It has nothing to do with geography; it's all biological taxonomy. But although there appears to be a consensus that shrimp and prawns are different suborders or infraorders of decapods, there's conflicting information about how and where the line is drawn. I'll leave it to the taxonomists to sort out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From a culinary standpoint, the distinction between shrimp and prawns appears to be primarily regional and linguistic, having nothing to do with the taxonomic categories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know about that -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I remember ordering a "prawn cocktail" in an Italian resto in England - and what I got was a bunch of baby shrimp mixed in with some ghastly orange dressing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. Is okra known as lady fingers in the UK? (In the US, lady fingers are cookies.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From Wiki:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Okra (American English: [ˈoʊkɹa], British English [ˈəʊkɹə], [ˈɒkɹə]), also known as ladyfinger, bhindi (Indo-Aryan) and gumbo"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have an old Penguin paperback of Indian cooking that uses Okra (lady's fingers), as well as the Hinid Bhindi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can be, but most people call it okra these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Gyro / Shwarma vs Doner Kebab

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Accroding to Lord Wiki...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shawarma (Arabic: شاورما‎), also spelled Chawarma, Schawarma, Shawirma, Shwarma, Shuarma, Shawerma, Shoarma, Schwarma, Shoermeh, Siaorma, or Shaorma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That must be right up there with pillau rice as having the most alternatives. I saw at least ten different spellings in UK Indian restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Thought of another:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whole wheat vs. wholemeal

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Golden syrup = nothing. Whahhhhhh, I want to bake some cornflake cakes for my coworkers but all the recipes I have call for Golden Syrup and I cannot get that in Florida.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can in Canada - I have a can in my kitchen. Treacle was difficult in Fl as well. Molasses just aint right for a treacle tart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Smartie - are you sure? I can find Lyle's Golden Syrup in cans in my local supermarket in the Northeast - I *think* either in the International aisle or the aisle with maple syrup and honey. I haven't purchased it there - but I know I've seen it. (I had some in my cupboards that I've pulled out to use based on this thread!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But if not - you most certain can order it online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Be sure that when you buy the golden syrup that you use it before the expiry date. Don't leave it in the larder too long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                WAY too late for that ~ I've had the two bottles, one currently unopened, for about 8 years or more, I believe. What I used from the opened bottle a few days after the above post was still fine. And I'm still alive. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And there was no expiration or "use by" date on the bottles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's almost pure sugar - it will last forever when resealed. It is possible the sugar will crystalise, but heating it up will redissolve it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't keep it in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's what I thought, Paulustrious. I liken it to it being similar to honey. And it's now in the pie safe - front and center and visible when I open up the cupboard doors. I did have to heat it up the last time I used it, but have turned the container upside down so the syrup is at the squeeze area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dread to think how many years we've had the tin. A couple of spoonfuls or so every year and that's it. Lasts forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've seen Lyle's in Florida grocery stores in areas where there's a substantial expat Brit population. Right next to the cans (er, tins?) of Batchelors Mushy Peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Head cheese vs brawn or souse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In terms of pronunciation we have tomato and yoghurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am unable to Americanise gammon as in 'gammon and eggs'.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had to go looking up gammon to see that it is a particular cut of bacon or ham steak, right? (From a different area of the pig.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And I did find this for British ex-pats in the States if you want to order back bacon, gammon, Lincolnshire sausage, Cornish pasties, etc: http://www.britishbacon.com/comersus6...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I once recommend ham and eggs when my British friend wanted gammon and eggs and that seemed to do the trick for him. Don't know, though, just what kind of American ham gammon would be. There are so many different kinds of ham here, both cooked and uncooked, and I have trouble keeping them straight without a scorecard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Cans - tins. Was it brought up ? Packaging vs food items. Am I right ? Never went to the UK..just watch the occasional foreign film..BBC America. Tinned beans on toast ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Takeout...Takeaway ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What do they call soda in the UK ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  soda in the UK usually known by the brand name eg, coke, pepsi, sprite, or just fizzy drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  we forgot the word 'produce'. It is not used in the UK for fruit and vegetables which are just know as fruit and vegetables!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rochfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In New York, such a thing used to be known as "carryout". Nowadays with the advent of SeamlessWeb, it's normally called "delivery" or "why schlep?".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Here's one I just came across today - "coarse fish". Per an angler's website:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "every creature that swims in freshwater that isn’t a trout or a salmon; in the US, they are known as “white fish” or “suckers”."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ""coarse fish". Per an angler's website:"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not an angler but I think this is an angling term rather than culinary. "Coarse fishing" - in freshwater - as opposed to "sea fishing".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But don't quote me.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elizabeth David used it in a recipe calling for a sorrel sauce, that she wrote goes well with "coarse fish". I then looked it up, and found the term on the angler's site. For some reason, by the way, when I cooked the sorrel it had a really unpleasant smell, so I pitched it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To understand coarse fishing one needs to read "The Art of Coarse Fishing" by Michael Green. Unless you are a golf / rugby / acting / cricket etc fan, in which case one needs to read "The Art of Coarse Golf / Rugby" etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Here's one gleaned from the "Desserts of the British Empire" thread on Home Cooking:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sprinkles/jimmies (varies in the US, covered at length in other threads) vs. hundreds-and-thousands

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes... though there is also a different confection that was called nonpareil when I was a kid, and apparently is still available in specialty shops. It's a slightly rounded chocolate disc about one inch in diameter covered with tiny white candy dots. http://www.oldtimecandy.com/nonpareil...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bobB, it's the candy dots (nonpareils) that lend their name to that candy -- classic movie snack food, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ahhhh, nonpareils...a.k.a. Sno-Caps. It ranks right up there with Raisinets for me as candy to eat in the movie theater! ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.oldtimecandy.com/sno-caps.htm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But nonpareils are harder and crunchier than sprinkles/jimmies. Not as hard as dragees, but still crunchier than jimmies - which have no crunch at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Streusel vs crumble (somewhat arguable)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              flapjacks (usa) vs. pancake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ???? syrup soaked oat bar vs. flapjacks (UK)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I suppose, therefore:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pancake (US) vs American Pancake (UK)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  UK flapjacks are US bar cookies--(here) not necessarily syrup-soaked oat bars. Example, our Magic Cookie Bars or Hello Dollies (7-layer bars) are bar cookies. UK folks would call them flapjacks, right? Or is it specific to oats/syrup?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flapjack as I'd understand it in the UK (whether homemade or shop bought) - butter, sugar, golden syrup, oats. Mix & bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If so, that's definitely not a one for one with our bar cookies. We had this discussion on Soop's "shall we make a recipe" thread a while back, but now I see a flapjack is kind of its own thing. What do you call a bar cookie, I wonder?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I can't believe this isn't on here already....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the U.K. a "bap" is a sandwich on a soft roll (the soft roll is actually the bap).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In addition:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the U.K., faggot = meatball.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I was there with a girlfriend as a teenager, a company was introducing a line of frozen meatballs with the advertising tag line "Take a faggot to lunch" which had us in gales of laughter!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although faggot is also used as a derogatory term for a homosexual in England.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On a similar theme, do you have fag=cigarette?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think perhaps the derogatory usage has migrated over from American slang fairly recently. I'm pretty sure that in 1978, the word didn't have that meaning (or they wouldn't have been using it in advertising).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yes, after all these years I still do a double take when one of my English cousins says he's going out for a fag!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's because he's got his own, Ruth. Otherwise he would be bumming a fag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And the 'alternative' meaning of faggot goes back way before 1978.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Faggots" used to refer to gathered firewood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gathered and bound into bundles. Same root as the Italian fascio, which is the etymological source for the name of the Fascist movement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          According to the OED, it sometimes referred specifically to the bundles of fuel used for burning people at the stake. Heretics who recanted were required to wear an emblem of a faggot on their clothing as a reminder of the punishment for relapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's amazing what you learn when you spend six years as an undergraduate assiduously avoiding any classes that might possibly have practical application.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I knew of "faggots" meaning gathered firewood from reading historical novels, but didn't know of the etymological source as well as heretics wearing the emblem as a reminder not to relapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You learn all sorts of things on Chowhound. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ditto to your entire post (both paragraphs), Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, and when you combine that with the English meaning of "bum" then you get quite a picture. ;-) I wonder if my cousin has ever thought of that ... might be enough to get him to stop smoking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And on that note, why does Gok Wan call breasts bangers? Totally bizarre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Bap" - geographical reference to a soft bread roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's what they call them about 10 miles north of me. Twenty miles south east, they are "cobs". Where I am, it's a "barm (or "barmcake"). And then there's "oven bottom muffins" - which are flatter and denser - and not to be confused with "English muffins" (which are American , but we have them now in England) or "muffins" (which are English and are teacakes to be toasted).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And just to correct, a "meatball" is a "meatball" in the UK as it is in the US. A "faggot" is a "faggot" - very different beastie made from pigs offal, such as heart and liver, and then wrapped in caul. Very much a regional dish from the West Midlands and almost invariably served in a very rich gravy. Further north (where I am), we call them "savoury ducks" - although they don't have duck in them . Go figure. Needless to say, the alternative use of the word by Americans (and now known to us) is a source of puerile humour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ruth's frozen food company was most probably Brains Limited, who are the market leader of commerical faggots. Even though Brains Faggots, don't have brains in them. They don't taste too bad either - if you're an offal sort of person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah. I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in the Midlands, obviously (my cousins at the time lived between Nottingham and Leicester, and now live in Manchester).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, yes. I think I recall you mentioning on a much much earlier thread that you'd visited my home city of Manchester.The Cheese Hamlet in Didsbury rings a bell - five minutes drive from me and the second best cheese shop in the north west.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's right! I spent a lot of time (and money) in The Cheese Hamlet. My cousin was a little mystified -- until he sampled the cheese I bought. Then he had to admit that he was enjoying cheeses he never thought he liked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They've since moved to my cousin-in-law's childhood farm in Derbyshire, which is going to make foraging for good chow a bit more challenging next time I visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On topic: In the U.K. what we would call sheep's milk cheese is called (more accurately), ewe's milk cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Feel free to contact me next time you visit - I'd have some good Derbyshire tips for you (including one of the best farmers markets I know for miles around).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On topic, I'd always think of it as sheep's milk cheese - but I can understand why the pedants amongst our nation would say ewe's - there ain't much milk coming out of a ram.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In Liverpool the cobbs were the crusty rolls (aka crusty rolls) and the barms were the soft ones, sometimes flour dusted. They were also known as barm cakes, though not technically cakes at all - unless they had suet in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Come to think of it, I and not quite sure what a cake is (technically) . Never heard of faggots as savoury ducks. If they ever sold them here in NA I think Brains Faggots would have to undergo some name change. Here are a couple of adverts...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ItF0C...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y136z...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also a sandwich in the UK - a" Butty" - ie - bacon butty or chip butty (the best!!)