Questions about naming and translation of culinary terms and phrases.

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107
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3answers
27k views

Translating cooking terms between US / UK / AU / CA / NZ

This post is an attempt to keep track of the terms that differ between dialects of English or exist in some dialects but not others: British / Australian / Canadian / American / etc. Please note that ...
37
votes
4answers
81k views

What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?

I was debating with someone today whether what we were eating was a cupcake or a muffin, but realized we didn't really know the difference. So what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin in ...
36
votes
2answers
5k views

What is it about boring, normal ketchup that makes it “fancy”?

Ketchup, at least in the USA, is about as boring as a condiment can possibly get. It's hard to imagine anything "fancy" coming out of a tube like this: Why, then, is it frequently called "fancy"? ...
35
votes
6answers
4k views

What does “natural” actually mean?

More and more I see "natural" or "all natural" labels on the slightly-cheaper alternatives next to "organic" products, and I find it somewhat confusing. I know that (for example) tofu does not occur ...
35
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “do.” mean in old recipes?

I'm reading through a book of cocktails from 1865 and I often seen the measurement for a given ingredient listed as "do.". What does this mean? Examples: 40 1/2 ounces of roast and ground cocoa. ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What international cooking terms sound similar but have different meanings?

I am not the only international user here, and I bet that others are just as confused as I am when we read something on an American-centric resource and the corresponding translation in our language ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a liqueur?

I was sitting in a hotel bar sipping cocktails with friends last night, and as one of the less well-versed of us was casting an eye over the cocktail list, he idly asked "is vermouth a liqueur?". "Of ...
18
votes
1answer
671 views

What is this French cuisine technique called, where “a piece of pheasant meat is cooked between two slices of veal, which are then discarded?”

A famed physicist Murray Gell-Mann compared a theoretical machinery in high energy physics theory to a technique in French cuisine, which he described thus: ... a method sometimes employed in ...
17
votes
7answers
8k views

What is ground beef?

I keep hearing about Ground Beef, but I'm from Australia and I've never actually seen it before. Is it the same thing as Minced Beef? Or different? Is Minced beef an acceptible substitute if they're ...
17
votes
9answers
29k views

Difference between soup and stew

What are the technical differences between a soup and a stew. Specifically, I've always had some confusion on the differentation of stew and soup. For the most part, you can tell the difference by ...
16
votes
3answers
36k views

What does al dente really mean?

Initially I was told that al dente meant that the pasta was cooked but still firm, definitely not soggy or overcooked. Later, someone told me that it meant not quite cooked all the way through. ...
15
votes
10answers
186k views

Is granulated sugar (American) the same as caster sugar (UK)?

I have an american cake recipe which includes 'granulated sugar', would this be uk caster sugar? It is for the stage when you beat in with the butter?
15
votes
3answers
993 views

What's the difference between jam, jelly, and preserves?

I assume the difference in name is due to their cooking processes, but am unsure what exactly makes them different.
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Japanese term for when the Sushi chef prepares meal for you

What is the Japanese term for when the sushi chef prepares a sushi meal for you based on what the sushi chef deems to be fresh and good, as well as what you would be interested in eating? I believe ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the term whole grain?

Often I have read that whole grains are healthy. So, what is a whole grain and what is a non-whole grain? The Pasta I have says "Durum wheat" as the ingredient. What should I understand by that?
12
votes
3answers
41k views

What is the formal definition of savory?

What is the formal definition of "savory" when used in cooking? I hear a lot about things coming in either sweet or savory forms — e.g. crepes — but in context it doesn't seem that savory ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What is 'Musk' as used in this recipe

I recently made this truffle ravioli dish, it was an easy enough recipe, but I was confused about one thing: it calls for 'musk'. I didn't know what this was, my research only turned up musk melon, ...
11
votes
9answers
13k views

What is slow cooking and what it is good for?

I've read several question about slow cooking, but I don't know what is it and what it's good for. Can someone explain it? Thank you!
11
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3answers
7k views

Is the “gamey” taste of venison just a polite name for “rotten”?

I have had a theory for a long time that it is the blood in the deer which causes the gamey flavor. Hunters gut the deer soon after a kill, but they don't bleed it or chill it for hours or days. It ...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

What is the difference between quick bread and cake?

Quick breads, like banana or zucchini breads, seem to be assembled in an identical method and with similar ingredients as cake. Many recipes have comparable quantities of fat and sugar. So what is ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between grits and polenta?

I've eaten both and except for the fact that sometimes polenta is a little bit more firm, they taste the same...Any southerners out there that can help?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What does it mean for something to be broiled?

In particular, how does it compare to it being boiled?
9
votes
4answers
14k views

What is “hand hot”?

How hot is "hand hot"? Should it be about the temperature where you can stand leaving your hand in the water ... but any degree hotter and it wouldn't be tolerable? Or is that way too hot? For ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference in blanching and parboiling?

From the time I was very young and just beginning to cook, I always heard about blanching but never heard of parboiling. I learned how to blanch vegetables to prepare for freezing, removing skins from ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the difference between roasting, baking, and broasting?

For example, when making a turkey for Thanksgiving, I generally place it in the oven (covered in foil or a turkey bag), and cook it for many hours at the recommended heat setting. I can crock-pot a ...
8
votes
5answers
324 views

Name of an Indian dish with stuffed whole potatoes

I had a lovely Indian meal which I would like to find the name of. There were small whole potatoes with a little hole cut into them and filled with spices and (I think) some lamb mince. They were ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the inside of a nut called?

My 3-year-old and I were sharing our traditional mix of Christmas nuts. He's getting pretty good at cracking them open by himself, and wanted to know what the part he eats is called. Anyone have an ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

What is Zwieback toast and where can I find it?

I am baking a black forest cake and it calls for zwieback toast. I cannot find this anywhere. Does anyone know what this is or where I can find it?
7
votes
7answers
40k views

Why is fish not considered as meat?

While reading a thread on cooking.SE an old question popped into my head: I am an Asian and had no problems with dishes with both meat and “fish”. But some of my elder German friends say that meat and ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the US equivalent of double and single cream?

I can find whipping cream, half and half, and even clotted cream where I'm staying in the US but not double or single cream, are these familiar terms or is there a US equivalent term?
7
votes
2answers
11k views

Is there a difference between green and spring onions?

I've seen some recipes call for green onions but always use spring onions? Is there a difference between them? Is there a better substitute?
6
votes
2answers
695 views

What does Joy of Cooking mean by “canned spaghetti”?

My sister was browsing through her Joy of Cooking (the 1975 edition, her copy printed November 1983) and found several recipes that call for things like "1 can spaghetti: 24 oz." or "2 1/2 cups canned ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is wasabi considered to be spicy or to be a spice?

I was just talking to a friend about what to eat for dinner and he said he didn't want anything spicy. He then mentioned that Japanese food doesn't have anything spicy and I said "Wasabi". ...
6
votes
3answers
33k views

Converting teaspoon/tablespoon measurements to mL? [duplicate]

I have been looking at curry recipes on an American web site and it gives measurements in teaspoons and tablespoons. I am not familiar with these measurements as we do not use them locally. Does ...
6
votes
1answer
554 views

Is there a difference between “magret of duck” and “fillet of duck”?

In my local supermarket, they have 2 kinds of duck breast meat: something called magret and something called filet. If you'd ask me to recognize which is which based on just the meat itself, I ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “curd” mean in a South Asian recipe?

I've seen the word "curd" used in a few South Asian recipes (like, notably, some "Butter Chicken" recipes). In one video, it kind-of looks like it might be cottage cheese (or something like that), ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is wok hai and how do I get it in my food?

There is something special about food cooked in a wok called wok hai? What is it and how do I get my food to have it?
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Is there a term for the differentiating effects on loaves of bread?

Say you make several loaves of bread which look very similar. You can put oatmeal on the white whole wheat, sesame seeds on plain white, poppy seeds on gluten free and cross hatches on rye. Is there a ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there?

I'm not talking about ingredient differences like adding blueberries or chocolate chips, or even buttermilk or cooked pumpkin to the batter ... How many fundamentally different regional types of ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

“Pie” vs “Tart”?

I've been told that there are some differences between a "pie" and a "tart". What's the difference, and when do I call it a pie, and when do I call it a tart? Sorry for my English!
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the Standard Terms Used to Describe Liquid Viscosity in Cooking?

When describing the thickness of a sauce or other liquid when cooking, what are the standard terms that should be used? I've heard things like "gravy-like" or talk of coating metal spoons, but I'd ...
6
votes
3answers
201 views

When is a food considered a delicacy?

I had an interesting discussion today during lunch on when a food can actually be 'declared' a delicacy. Is there someone saying "this is hereby to be put on the delicacy-list", or is this something ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between noodles and pasta?

Is pasta just a fancy name for noodle? Or is pasta always an Italian style noodle? Is all pasta noodles? Or the other way around? This may be more of a language question than an actual food ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a difference between Stew and Casserole?

Is there a proper distinction between a slow cooked meat dish labelled a casserole and one labelled stew? And if there is a traditional distinction would it be fair to say that the distinction is no ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a scrambled omelette?

I sometimes fry vegetables and chicken, crack a couple of eggs into the pan and stir it all for a while. Serve as is, or with fried rice or noodles. Does this dish have a common name?
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a difference between seasoning and flavouring?

I find the meaning of the word 'seasoning' slightly elusive. Before I started to take cooking seriously, I'd have said that any herb or spice used in cooking could be called a seasoning. Without ...
5
votes
3answers
603 views

What are “fondi di carciofo” called in English?

I would like to know what the English name is for the Italian word fondo di carciofo as I was not able to find it on the Internet. Basically, carciofo means artichoke and fondo means the bottom part ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What makes a hot dog a hot dog?

I like hot dogs, but I'm always conscious that they are a means by which unspeakable bits of meat can be made appetising, even when they get a fancy name like bockwurst to cover the fact. So I bought ...
5
votes
3answers
787 views

What is this cooking method called

Whats this cooking method called where you bury the food (potato, sugarbeet, guava, corn cobs)in hot charcoal ashes?
5
votes
4answers
532 views

What is the egg mixture used in gratins called in English?

This is one of these weird cases of synchronicity. I was wondering today how it is called in English. Then I answered a question, and needed the word for the answer. The dishes I mean may not always ...