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 (UK) / Australian (AU) / Canadian (CA) / American (US) / New Zealand (NZ), etc.

Please note that Canada may be difficult to classify, as some regions (especially near the southern border) use US terms, while others may use UK terms.

It's a community wiki, so feel free to edit and clarify or add additional items. The comments are getting long, so use answers for discussion of specific concepts if necessary. If you're not sure what a term means, ask it as a new question and tag it with language)

For similar terms in other languages or terms that do not translate cleanly, see What international cooking terms sound similar but have different meanings? .

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • Eggplant (US, CA, AU, NZ) is an aubergine (UK, NZ).
  • Zucchini (US, CA, AU) is a courgette (UK, NZ) when harvested young or a marrow (UK, AU) when allowed to mature further.
  • Summer Squash (US) are members of the squash family with a short storage life typically harvested before full maturity; typically available starting in the spring and summer; includes zucchini, yellow and crookneck squash.
  • Winter Squash (US) are members of the squash family that are allowed to reach full maturity before harvesting; typically available in the fall; includes pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash.
  • also note that squash may refer to a drink (see "cordial")
  • Arugula (US, CA) is rocket (UK, AU, NZ).
  • Rutabaga (US, CA) is swede (UK, AU, NZ), but also called turnip, Swedish turnip or neep in some parts of the UK, particularly Scotland. (Wikipedia). Not to be confused with a turnip (AKA white turnip), which is a similar, smaller vegetable.
  • Endive (US, NZ) is chicory (Belgium, UK, NZ perhaps others).
  • Capsicum (AU, NZ) / bell pepper (US, CA) is a pepper (UK). Note that for people with a biology background 'capsicum' also includes hot peppers (aka chilies or chili peppers)
  • Peppers (US, CA) (note the plural), is typically short for chili peppers unless qualified as sweet peppers or bell peppers, or specified as peppercorn.
  • Colored peppers (US, CA, UK), (eg, red peppers, green peppers), typically refers to bell peppers unless qualified (eg, 'hot red peppers', 'small red peppers')
  • Pepper (US, CA, NZ, UK) (note the singular) refers to black peppercorns unless otherwise qualified.
  • Red pepper (US, note the singular) refers to dried, red chilies (typically cayenne) that has been dried and ground or crushed.
  • Seaweed (US) has many names based on type of plant, including Kombu (Japan), Nori (Japan), Laver (Wales), and many others. See (edible seaweed)
  • Snow peas (US, CA, AU, NZ) are mange tout (UK) (word borrowed from French meaning 'eat everything'). Mange tout (UK) also includes sugar snap peas (US, UK), but these are not the same thing. Snap peas are fatter, similar to conventional green peas, while mange tout are flat. In both cases the peas and pod are eaten together.
  • Peanuts (US, CA, AU, NZ) may sometimes be sold in the UK as monkey nuts, especially if unshelled. And Peanut Oil may be known in the UK as groundnut oil.
  • Legumes (US, CA) are pulses (UK, CA, NZ). 'Legume' may refer to the plant and not the seeds (lentils, beans, etc).
  • Boiling potatoes (US) are waxy potatoes (UK, US). This refers to low-starch potatoes that don't fall apart when cooked. Sometimes called roasting potatoes (US, CA). New potatoes behave like waxy potatoes, even if they come from a variety used for baking.
  • Mealy potatoes (US) are floury potatoes (UK) or baking potatoes (UK, US, CA). This refers to high starch, low moisture potatoes that result in significant softening when cooked (useful for mashed potatoes or using for thickening; the opposite of waxy potatoes).
  • Runner Beans (UK, NZ) are large flat green beans or string beans (US, CA) (Farmhouse Cookery). UK also has green beans and stringless beans, but neither is the same as runner beans.
  • Broad Beans (UK, AU, NZ) are fava beans, butter beans or lima beans (US, CA) (Farmhouse Cookery)
  • Sultanas (UK, AU, NZ) are seedless golden raisins (Farmhouse Cookery)
  • Spring onions (UK, AU, CA, NZ), Scallions (US, CA), and green onions may not always be the same thing, but can typically be substituted for each other. (more details).
  • Corn (US) always refers to maize. Most Americans don’t even know what maize is. Corn in other countries may refer generically to grain.

Herbs, Spices & Seasonings:

  • Kosher(ing) salt (US, CA) is flaked salt (UK). Refers to the Jewish dietary practice of salting meat to remove blood. It has become a standard salt used in cured meat products as it is coarse and often without additives that may lead to off tastes when used in cures. Some sea salts may be appropriate substitutes (ref).
  • Cilantro (US, CA) is known as Coriander (UK, AU, CA, NZ), and it tends to refer to the leaf, unless qualified as coriander seed. May be qualified as fresh coriander or green coriander. Ground coriander is always the seed.
  • Coriander (US, CA) refers to the seed.
  • Celeriac (UK, AU, US) is celery root (US) (Farmhouse Cookery)
  • Stock cubes (AU, NZ, UK) are bouillon cubes (US, CA). May be Maggi cube or Oxo cube (UK; brand name issues) or simply stock cube (UK)
  • Mixed Spice (UK, NZ) aka pudding spice (UK) is roughly equivalent to Pumpkin Pie Spice (US, CA) (aka pie spice or pumpkin spice). Both are spice blends heavy in cinnamon and nutmeg, likely to have allspice and possibly other similar spices. Either one may have ginger and cloves as well. Mixed spice may contain coriander (seed) or caraway.
  • Pumpkin spice (US) is the spice for adding to pumpkin pies (usually a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and such) and doesn’t contain pumpkin or any other squash.
  • Chili powder (US) is a spice mixture for seasoning chili con carne. Chili powder contains mainly ground chili peppers (eg, cayenne), onion powder, garlic powder and cumin. Mixtures vary, and often include oregano, black pepper, paprika and/or salt.
  • Chili powder (CA, NZ) or chilli powder (UK) is pure ground chili peppers. In the US, it is usually qualified with a variety of chili and includes an "e" such as "New Mexico chile powder" or "Ancho chile powder". (See also "red pepper", above.)
  • (see also 'peppercorns' for a discussion of 'black pepper', under the discussion of 'pepper' in Fruits & Vegetables)

Baked Goods:

  • Cookies (US, CA) are biscuits (UK, AU, NZ).
  • Biscuits (US, CA) are similar to a scone (UK, AU, NZ), and usually neither sweet nor savory.
  • Scone (US, CA) tends to be sweeter than a scone (UK).
  • Graham Crackers (US, CA) are roughly analogous to Digestive biscuits in the UK (both may be used to make a crust or dessert base, for example).
  • Muffin (US, CA, AU, NZ) is a quick bread (typically using the 'muffin method') baked in forms used for cupcakes. It increasingly has this meaning in the UK too, with the prevalence of American-style coffee-shop chains. Muffin (UK) is english muffin (US, CA, AU, NZ), a yeast leavened flat-ish bread, cooked on a griddle with a ring form.
  • Sponge cake is a term for the lighter range of "typical" cake in both US and UK. However, since the range of cakes typically baked varies between the US and UK, in British usage one finds "sponges" that are heavier and denser than what an American would call a "sponge". See this answer for further discussion.
  • Pancake (US, CA) generally refers to puffy items made from a thick leavened batter but generally smaller than an American pancake. (AU may use 'pancake' for items larger than "silver dollar pancakes"). Pancake can go by a number of names in the US, including hotcakes, griddlecakes, flapjacks and hoecakes.
  • Pancake (UK, AU, NZ) is made from a thinner unleavened batter, with a result a little thicker than a french crêpe. Drop scone (or scotch pancake) (UK) or Pikelet (AU, NZ) is similar to a (US, CA) pancake
  • Flapjack (US) is the same thing as a (US) pancake. But flapjack (UK) is a baked square usually consisting of sugar/honey, butter, and oats, vaguely similar to a granola bar (ref)
  • Frosting (US, CA) is icing (UK, CA, AU, NZ). In the US, frosting typically has air whipped into it, while icing (US) doesn't and dries harder.
  • Turnover (US, CA) or hand pie (US, CA) is pasty/pastie (ˈpas-tē) (UK, NZ, CA). (Pasties (ˈpās-tēz) in the US are coverings to comply with nudity laws in strip clubs.) Turnover (UK) is a puff pastry shell, usually triangular, filled with fruit and whipped cream. In Australia, pasty is usually a meat and vegetable filled pastry, while a similar fruit-filled items is a turnover
  • Flan (US, CA) is créme caramel (AU, CA). (ref)
  • Flan (AU, UK) is a sweet pastry tart, usually containing custard and fruit. In the UK it can also refer to a savoury version, similar to a quiche.
  • Coffee Cake (US) is spiced cake often served for breakfast or occasionally as a snack with coffee. They often have a streusel like topping.
  • Coffee Cake (UK, NZ) is a cake that is flavored with coffee.


  • plain flour (UK, AU, NZ) is wheat flour with an 8-10% protein content. You can typically use all-purpose flour (US, CA) (aka 'AP flour' or just 'AP' on cooking shows) unless otherwise qualified (eg, 'plain, strong flour') in which case it just means 'not self-rising'. Note that AP flour in the US South (eg, White Lily brand) tends to be closer to UK plain flour than northern and national brands of AP flour (eg, King Arthur, Gold Medal). See https://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/126064/67
  • soft flour (UK) is lower gluten than AP flour, such as pastry flour (US, CA) or cake flour (US, CA)
  • strong flour (UK) aka. hard flour (UK, CA) is higher gluten flour, such as bread flour (US, CA)
  • self-rising flour (US, CA) is available in the US, but less common. It is referred to as self-raising flour in the UK, AU and NZ. Although it has baking powder in it, it does not have fat in it such as Bisquick or other 'baking mixes'.
    UK Self-raising flour does not contain salt. Apparently US self-rising flour does.
  • wholemeal flour (UK, NZ) is whole wheat flour (US, CA)


  • Ground beef (US, CA) is minced beef (AU, UK) or simply mince (UK, AU, NZ).
  • Canadian bacon (US), peameal bacon (CA) is also back bacon (from the loin). Canadian grocery stores may have multiple brands that use both names.
  • Bacon (CA, US) is streaky bacon (UK) (from the belly). In the UK, bacon is most likely back bacon.
  • Green Bacon (UK) is "unsmoked bacon cured in brine" (Farmhouse Cookery)
  • Gammon (UK) is "ham-like bacon from the pig's hindquarters" (Farmhouse Cookery). Essentially it is an uncooked joint of ham, designed to be cooked at home.
  • Pork rinds (US, CA) are scratchings (UK, when dry) and crackling (AU, NZ & UK when fresh from a roast).
  • Brawn (UK) is head cheese (US, CA) (Farmhouse Cookery)
  • Names of cuts of meat in the US may differ from other countries. See Wikipedia for images of US and British names of regions
  • Prawns (AU, UK) and shrimp (US) are technically different animals, but are frequently labeled by the more common one in that country, and are often substituted for each other. In Canada and the UK, shrimp may be used to refer to smaller sizes and prawn for larger.

Dairy: (ref, ref)

  • Light Cream (CA) has 5% butterfat. Light Cream (US) is 18 to 30% butterfat. (Lite Cream (AU) is roughly 18% butterfat)

  • Table Cream (CA) is 15% or 18% butterfat.

  • Single cream (UK) is at least 18% butterfat. Equivalent to Lite Cream (AU), Thickened Cream - Reduced Fat (AU), Table Cream (CA), Coffee Cream (CA). Extra Thick Single Cream (UK) contains stabilizers.

  • Cream (US) with 5% butterfat is not commonly found in the UK

  • Half-and-half (US) is a mix of half cream, half milk (about 12.5% butterfat in the US, but 10% butterfat in CA). May be called blend cream (CA).

  • Cooking Cream (CA (Quebec)) is either 15% or 35% butterfat, thickened with stabilizers and emulsifiers

  • Country-Style Cream (CA (Quebec)) is either 15% or 35% butterfat, with stabilizers and emulsifiers

  • Whipping Cream (CA) is 33 to 36% butterfat, and may have stabilizers. Equivalent to Thickened Cream (AU), Pouring Cream (AU) or Single Cream (AU). Whipping Cream (US) may be from 30 to 36% milkfat. Whipping Cream (UK) contains at least 35% butterfat.

  • Heavy cream (US) aka heavy whipping cream (US) = cream with more than 36% fat, and often has stabilizers

  • Regular Cream (AU, NZ) or Pure Cream (AU) are roughly 40% butterfat without thickening agents.

  • Double Cream (UK) is at least 48% milkfat. Extra Thick Double Cream (UK) contains stabilizers.

  • Rich Cream (AU), Thick Cream (AU), or Double Cream (AU) is a spoonable cream with 48% butterfat or more.

  • Clotted Cream (UK, CA) or Devon Cream (UK), has been heated to evaporate liquid, resulting in a spoonable cream with about 55% milkfat.

  • Buttermilk (US, CA, modern usage, aka 'cultured buttermilk') is a fermented product, basically a runny yogurt, while historically buttermilk is the liquid left over after churning butter. Historic buttermilk made with fresh milk is closer to today's skim milk, but if made with sour milk is closer to cultured buttermilk.

  • Sour cream (US, CA, NZ) = soured cream (UK)


  • powdered sugar or confectioners sugar (US, CA) is icing sugar (UK, CA, NZ) or icing sugar mixture (AU) or 10X (US Chef slang); contains cornstarch (~3%) as an anti-clumping agent.
  • icing sugar (AU), aka pure icing sugar does not have starch in it.
  • superfine sugar (US, CA) is caster sugar (UK, NZ, AU); may also be called berry sugar (CA), fruit sugar (CA), bar sugar, castor sugar, instant dissolving sugar, ultrafine sugar, fondant sugar, or extra fine sugar.
  • sanding sugar (US) is pearl sugar (CA). (size between coarse sugar & granulated sugar)
  • unless otherwise qualified, sugar (US, CA, NZ, UK) is granulated sugar

Other Food / Ingredients:

  • entree (US, CA) is the main course. Entree (AU, NZ) is a starter course, or appetizer (US, CA) course. (ref). The term is rarely used in the UK, but is more likely to be understood to be a starter.
  • dessert (US, CA, AU) is pudding, sweets, dessert or afters (UK, depending on region and social class). Pudding is usually a cooked item, while dessert may be fresh fruit or other non-cooked item.
  • pudding (US, CA) is roughly equiv. to custard (UK, CA)

  • pudding (UK) is a much broader range of items, including savoury foods like black pudding (a kind of blood sausage) and Yorkshire pudding (oven baked batter puffs served alongside savoury foods, usually roast dinners), due to its historical roots which applied to various foods boiled in animal innards or muslin cloth, but unless qualified usually refers to a sweet dessert item.

  • jello (US, CA; brand name issues) is jelly (UK, AU, NZ)

  • jelly (US) is seedless jam (UK, NZ) (see answer below for details)

  • fries (US, CA, abbr. for french fries) are chips (UK, NZ, CA for 'fish and chips'); both terms work in AU and NZ, as does hot chips.

  • chips (UK) are steak fries (US, CA), rather than the typical American shoestring fries

  • chips (US, CA, NZ) are crisps (UK). AU and NZ have mixed usage.

  • cornstarch (US, CA) is cornflour (UK, AU, NZ)

  • corn flour (US; aka fine corn meal) is maize flour (AU), a finer ground version of cornmeal (US, UK) or polenta (US, UK, NZ). Cornflour (UK) is the extracted starch derived from the raw corn kernal, not the dry ground flesh of the whole kernal. Also called masa harina (US) if made from nixtamalized corn.

  • cornflour (AU, NZ) is a powdered starch, but not necessarily made from corn, as there is also 'wheaten cornflour'. (ref)

  • cider (US) is unfiltered (cloudy) juice, commonly from apples, while cider (UK, NZ) is an alcoholic beverage made from apple juice (aka. hard cider (US) or scrumpy (UK) for stronger dry ciders). cider (AU) refers to both the alcoholic beverage and any non-alcoholic carbonated apple juice. cider in Canada refers to hot spiced apple beverages and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic apple and pear beverages, carbonated or fermented.

  • cordial [US] is a flavored alcohol, while cordial [UK, CA, AU, NZ] is a liquid drink flavoring that is intended to be diluted with water. (ref). In the UK some types of cordial are often referred to as squash.

  • liquid smoke (US, CA, NZ) is condensed smoke, used as a flavoring.

  • black beer (UK) is a malt liquor/fortified wine containing malt.

  • black beer (US, Germany), also called black lager or schwarzbier is a type of lager brewed with extremely dark malt.

  • tomato sauce (UK, AU, NZ) is ketchup (UK, US, CA). Also catsup and other spelling variants.

  • tomato sauce (UK, US, CA) is a tomato based sauce typically for pasta or pizza. It may refer to canned tomato sauce which is thinned tomato paste possibly with herbs or spices, or a more complex Italian style cooked sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other spices and ingredients typically served over pasta (sometimes called marinara or jarred tomato sauce)

  • tomato paste (US, CA, AU, NZ) is tomato purée (UK), a thick, concentrated tomato product.

  • tomato purée (US, CA, AU) is unreduced tomatoes (possibly stewed) with the skin and seeds removed. Also called crushed tomatoes (although crushed tomatoes may still have seeds).

  • tomato passata (UK, CA) (sometimes just 'passata') is strained tomato purée (US).

  • golden syrup (UK, NZ) is dark cane sugar syrup (US, CA); corn syrup is an acceptable substitute (Farmhouse Cookery)

  • rapeseed oil (UK) is Canola oil (US, CA, AU, NZ). (abbreviation for "Canada oil, low acid")

  • vegetable oil (US, CA, AU, NZ, UK) is any flavorless oil with a decent smoke point. It may be soy, corn, rapeseed, or a blend, but you can use peanut (groundnut (UK)), canola (rapeseed (UK)), or extra light (not extra virgin) olive oil.

  • EVOO (US cooking show) is “extra virgin olive oil”

  • oats (US) unless qualified are 'old fashioned' or 'rolled oats', not groats (which are sold as 'pinhead oats'), 'Steel cut oats' (cut up groats but not flattened, aka. 'Irish oatmeal'), nor 'instant oats' (flattened & parcooked). Oatmeal (UK) only refers to coarsely ground oats, whereas oatmeal (US) often refers to any cooked oat breakfast dish, aka porridge (UK). Porridge (UK) is typically made with rolled oats.

  • granola (US, CA) is a cooked sweetened oat dish that may include nuts or dried fruit, and may be pressed into bars. It looks similar to muesli (UK) which is raw oats, nuts and fruit.

  • trail mix (US, CA) or Scroggin (NZ, AU) is a mixture of nuts and dried fruit. It may include granola, seeds (eg. sunflower) or chocolate (typically in the form of M&Ms)

  • Smarties (UK, CA, AU, NZ) are similar to the candy M&Ms

  • Smarties (US) or Rockets (CA) are compressed sugar pellets (similar to PEZ tablets, but round with concave sides, packaged in rolls with twisted ends)

  • Candy (US, CA) is sweets (UK) or lollies (NZ, AU). Lollies (UK) only refers to sweets on sticks, or to ice lollies, which are frozen desserts on a stick, i.e. popsicles (US)

  • Fried egg in the UK and NZ is what Americans/Canadians call sunny-side up unless otherwise qualified. The US/CA terms over-easy, over-medium, over-well and over-hard are typically unknown in the UK. For a definition of the 'over' terms, see Can someone please give an explanation of different egg preparations? . (more details )

  • Casserole (UK, NZ) is a stew, a mixture of bite-sized chunks of (typically) meat and vegetables that is cooked submerged in liquid at low heat for a long period of time.

  • Casserole (US, CA) is a bake (UK, US) or hotdish (US), and refers to any mixture of food baked in a casserole dish (sometimes shortened to simply casserole), an oven-safe, relatively deep, typically ceramic vessel. A casserole (US) is typically not as wet as a stew. It includes dishes that are composed of pre-cooked ingredients and then mixed or layered in a suitable vessel and baked to finish. (ref)

Cooking methods:

  • broiling (US, CA) is grilling (AU, UK, NZ) which is cooking with heat from above as in some ovens or restaurant salamanders.
  • grilling (US, CA) is barbecuing (AU, NZ, UK, CA) which is cooking with heat from below, typically on a metal rack over a vessel of burning wood or charcoal, or a gas burner.
  • barbecuing (US) is slow cooking using wood or charcoal to impart smoke to the food. In parts of the USA (e.g Pacific North West) barbecue is used in the sense of grilling above. This sense is also sometimes used in AU and NZ.
  • barbeque (US, CA, NZ) (sometimes abbreviated BBQ) may refer to the either food cooked through barbequeing, or the device on which it is cooked.

Tools / Equipment / Non-food items :

  • parchment paper (US, CA) is greaseproof paper (Ireland/ UK) and baking paper (AU, NZ)
  • stove (US, CA, AU, NZ) is also range (US, CA, NZ) and hob (UK, rarely NZ). Hob can refer to both the stove as a whole, or an individual burner (aka. heating element).
  • crock pot (US, CA; brand name issues) is a slow cooker (US, CA, UK, AU, NZ). Also slo-cooker (UK; brand name issues)
  • food processor (US, CA, AU, UK) is sometimes a magimix (UK; brand name issues)
  • canned items (US, CA) are tinned (UK, AU, NZ). Items 'canned' in glass jars would be described as either preserved or pickled (if in vinegar) in the UK and NZ.
  • recipe (US, CA, NZ, AU) is sometimes called a receipt in other areas and in older usage (until early 20th century; more info).
  • receipt (US, CA, UK, NZ, modern usage) is "a written acknowledgment of having received a specified amount of money, goods, etc."
  • aluminum foil (US), aluminium foil (UK, AU, NZ) is often referred to as tinfoil (US, UK, NZ), which had previously been in use for similar purposes. It is usually shortened to foil or al-foil in AU.
  • plastic wrap (US, CA), cling film (UK), cling wrap (AU) is often referred to as Saran™ wrap (US brand name) or Glad™ wrap (NZ, AU brand name) (although no one bothers to say the '™')
  • liquidiser (UK) is a blender (US, CA) (Farmhouse Cookery). blender in AU refers to both a food processor and a liquidiser.
  • skillet (US, CA) is a frying pan (US, CA, UK, NZ). (a type of low-sided round cooking vessel with handle (pan (US)), with angled sides.)
  • paper towels (US, CA) are kitchen towels or kitchen roll in other countries.
  • dish towels (US), aka kitchen towels (US) or tea towels (UK, AU, NZ), are reusable cloth towels.
  • Kitchen bench (AU, NZ) is the kitchen counter (US, CA), worktop (UK).
  • a slice (UK) is a slotted metal spatula (US, CA). Specifically a ‘fish slice’ or ‘egg slice’
  • spatula (US, CA) is any tool with a flat, typically wide working surface. It may refer to a scraper (rubber spatula; silicone spatula), a tool for spreading (offset spatula), or a tool for flipping/turning food (typically plastic or metal), or a tool for stirring (wooden spatula)

Units of measurement & sizing :

  • teaspoon (US, UK, CA , NZ) is 5 mL (note: abbreviated 't' or 'tsp')
  • dessert spoon (UK) is 10 mL (although may have historically been closer to 15mL)
  • tablespoon (US, CA, NZ) is roughly 15 mL (note: abbreviated 'T', 'TB', or 'tbsp') but a tablespoon (UK) is 17.7mL and tablespoon (AU) is 20 mL. Historical British cookbooks may use an ~25mL tablespoon. (more details).
  • A stick of butter (US, CA) is 1/4 lb (113 g); the physical stick is marked into eight "tablespoon" divisions [slightly larger than an actual tablespoon, roughly 14g each]. A block of butter (UK, NZ) is typically 250g, and packaging is often marked in 50g portions.
  • A knob of butter (UK) is somewhere around 2 TB (US), but is an inexact measure.
  • A pat of butter (US) is between 1 and 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL), most commonly 48 per lb, or ~1.5 tsp. (~9.5 grams, 7.5mL)
  • A cup (US) for cooking is a fixed measure of ~236mL (8 fluid ounces, 16 TB, 1/2 a US pint); A British Imperial cup is 1/2 of an Imperial pint (~284mL) Other countries may use a 225mL 'cup' or 250mL 'metric cup' (AU, NZ and some regions of CA)
  • A cup of coffee or tea (when measuring electric kettles) may be based on 5 or 6 oz 'cups'. Always look for the volume in mL or L when buying such items.
  • A cup of uncooked rice (for rice cooker instructions) is 175mL, roughly 3/4 of a US cup.
  • A pint (UK, AU, CA) is 20 Imperial fluid ounces (568.261 mL), while a pint (US) is 16 fluid ounces (473.176 mL).
  • A gas mark (UK) refers to the dials on some British gas ovens (Farmhouse Cookery). The marks from 1 to 9 correspond roughly to 275 - 475 °F (at 25 °F intervals) or 140 - 250 °C (at 10 °C intervals) (more detail below)
  • A tin (UK) of tomatoes is the sized tin can (in US, just called a "can") that it's typically sold in. For many vegetables, this is a 400mL / ~14oz container, but is not a constant (for example, anchovies or tomato paste). (ref; see below)
  • Unless otherwise qualified, assume an egg is about 60 grams. (a 'large egg' (US,CA), but a 'medium egg' in Europe). (ref)
  • 4
    In the UK, a teaspoon is 5ml, a dessert spoon is 10ml, and a table spoon is 15ml.
    – Vicky
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 13:01
  • 3
    @GalacticCowboy : the closest I can come up with is 'Biscuit (US) is similar to a scone (UK)' as UK scones aren't like US ones.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 16:55
  • 3
    "rutabaga (US) is swede (UK)" - depends where you are. The terms 'swede' and 'turnip' swap from county to county. Where I'm from a swede is a hefty yellow ball-sized lump, a turnip a white and green golf ball-sized thing. Travel further south or north and the terms swap over... PS. sugar: it's written "caster" sugar on every packet in every supermarket in the UK. Castor oil is something very different.
    – Gary
    Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 13:52
  • 4
    @jam : yes, they're equivalent, although in some regions 'turnover' is more common. For Americans, 'pasties' are things that strippers use to cover their nipples, so wouldn't be used to talk about food unless qualified (eg, 'cornish pastie')
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 12:44
  • 6
    @joe removing it is correcting it. It's not a matter of opinion: 'biscuit' does not mean 'Digestive biscuit' in the UK. A Digestive is a biscuit, but not all biscuits are Digestives. I don't 'disagree', it is simply wrong. Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 7:11

7 Answers 7


US : jam/jelly/preserves/etc

In the US, there are specific definitions from the Food & Drug Administration on what can be labeled as jam, jelly, etc.

From CookingLight.com, but preserved here in case of link rot:

  • Jelly is a clear, bright product. It is generally made by cooking fruit juice and sugar with pectin as a jelling agent and lemon juice as an acid to maintain a consistent texture. Jelly is firm and will hold its shape (it 'shakes'). Generally, jelly contains no pieces of fruit, although specialty jellies, like pepper jelly, may include pieces of jalapeño or other pepper.

  • Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit cooked with sugar, and often pectin and lemon juice. Jam can be a purée of fruit or have a soft pulp, but it does not contain chunks of fruit.

  • Preserves are fruit cooked with sugar to the point where large chunks of fruit or whole fruit, such as berries, are suspended in a syrup base. The texture of preserves is not smooth like jelly or jam.

  • Marmalade is a soft jelly, often citrus-based, that includes both the flesh and peel of the fruit suspended throughout the jelly base. The bitterness of the peel offsets the sweetness of the jelly.

  • Conserve is a mixture of more than one fruit, often with added nuts and raisins, that is cooked until it becomes thick. It is used as a spread for breads, pastries and meats, and in the latter use is closest to chutney.

  • Chutney is a spiced condiment of Indian origin (chatni is the Hindi word for strongly spiced) made of fruit or vegetables. It is typically served as an accompaniment to food, not as a spread. The spice level can range from mild to hot, and the consistency from a fine relish to a preserve or conserve. Fruit chutney consists of chopped fruit, vinegar, spices and sugar cooked into a chunky sweet-tart-spicy mix: according to one explanation, it 'blurs the Western distinction between preserves and pickles.'

  • Fruit Butter, such as apple butter or prune butter, is fruit purée or pulp combined with sugar, lemon juice and spices, slowly cooked down to a smooth consistency. The 'butter' refers to its spreadability: there is no actual butter in the product.

  • Fruit Curd is a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter, generally flavored with citrus juice and zest.

  • Fruit Spread is generally a reduced-calorie product made with fruit juice concentrate and low-calorie sweeteners replacing all or part of the sugar.

  • +1 for the detailed explanation. In Italy, we use just two terms: marmellata, and confettura.
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 11, 2010 at 16:19
  • Salsa qualifies as Chutney. Pickles in India are dried veggies or raw fruits soaked(?) or brined in oil with dry herbs and spices. In some cases Indian pickles may be even brined only with vinegar. In US pickles are mostly brined in vinegar and may or may not contain spices. Correct me if I am wrong.
    – Kumar
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 6:27
  • So, when the Americans talk about a "peanut butter and jelly sandwich", what is the 'jelly' they refer to? Does it match the definition above (Jelly is firm and will hold its shape (it 'shakes') ), or should it really be called a "peanut butter and jam sandwich"?
    – Jez
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 11:14
  • 1
    Italian law (namely the Decreto Legislativo 50/2004) is even stricter about the use of those words in labels. Specifically, it defines the following products as a gelified mixture of water, sugar and: Jam (confettura): at least 35% of pulp or purée of one or more of any kind of fruit. Marmalade (marmellata): at least 20% of one of more of pulp, purée, water extract, peel from citruses only. Jelly (gelatina): at least 35% of juice or water extract of one or more of any kind of fruit. Jelly marmalade (marmellata gelatina): a marmalade deprived of any insoluble element.
    – Pino Pinto
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 11:33
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno: Italy also has mostarda which is somewhat similar to chutney, both in recipe (sweet and spicy fruit preserve) and use (as a condiment to savoury dishes)
    – Max
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 21:27

Oven Temperature Conversion Table

Gas mark Fahrenheit Celsius Descriptor
1/4 225 110 slow
1/2 250 120 slow
1 275 135 slow
2 300 150 moderately slow
3 325 160 moderately slow
4 350 175* moderate
5 375 190 moderate
6 400 205 moderately hot
7 425 220 hot
8 450 230 hot
9 475 245 very hot

* often considered 180°C

I've based this table off of a number of sources that have slightly different values; I'm going to assume that the 25°F for each gas mark is correct (as those all agree), and derived the Celcius from there, rounding to the nearest 5. See the first three for descriptive terms like 'moderate oven', as they don't all use the same adjectives.

The descriptor column are terms used in older cookbooks, particularly in British, NZ and AU cooking. I've taken these from a trusted NZ source for baking; Edmund's Cookbook, 1993 edition.


From Charlotte Farley: endive (US) is chicory (Belgium, perhaps others). A I understand it, UK usage reverses continental usage - so the UK and US call it "endive". The rest of Europe calls it "chicory", and vice versa.

Edit by Rumtscho:

  1. This is called "chickory" (or a clearly related word) in many continental European languages, except in Dutch. Common names in the Netherlands or Flanders are 'witloof', 'witlof' or 'Brussels lof'. (cc by-sa image by David Monniaux). It is bitter, and is often eaten as a part of a cooked dish. The root of this plant is called 'chicorei' in Dutch (so this word is related to 'chicory'), but it is used less and less (it was used as a coffee substitute). chickory

  2. This is called "endive" (or a closely related word) in many continental European languages, but endive or Belgian endive in the US and Canada. (cc sa-by-nc-nd image by Carlos Lorenzo). It is usually eaten raw, in a salad, interchangeably with other lettuces.* It certainly can be cooked as well (mainly the outer leaves). enter image description here

  3. There is another vegetable from the endive family. While it is commonly known as "radicchio", I've heard it referred to as "red endive". Not sure about its common use. enter image description here

*sorry for the beautiful but not too recognizable picture, I couldn't find a better shareable one. Will snap it and update when I happen to buy the thing.

Further Edit by Megha :

Elsewhere, chicory is a blue flower, whose root is roasted and used as a coffee substitute. This flower is sometimes known as "root chicory" (because the roots were mostly used, I suppose), as opposed to leaf chicory, which is the endive or radicchio as mentioned above. This plant is used in the Mediterranean region, where the plant was native, and is often used in Indian coffee, and is also known in southeast Asia, South Africa, and southern United States (especially areas affected by the naval blockades during the US Civil War --Joe)

Chicory flower

  • 3
    In Canada, I've always heard 1) as "Belgian Endive" and 2) as Endive. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 18:24
  • 1
    in the netherlands 1) is called "witlof" (white leaf) or "Brussels lof". It's eaten either raw in salad, cooked, or sautee'd (sometimes baked over with cheese). 2) in the Netherlands is eaten almost universally cooked, rarely raw (though sometimes mashed raw into cooked potatoes) 3) is used in salads to provide accents in both taste and colour/texture
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 8:21
  • 1
    3 looks like red cabbage (CA). Commented May 6, 2014 at 13:56
  • 3
    The above would normally be named in the UK as "chicory", "Frisee" and "Radicchio" respectively. Although "Endive" would sometimes be used to refer to any of them, especially the first two.
    – Niall
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 2:39

From the book "Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book" (29th, revised impression 1992 reprinted 1997; first published in 1970), in the section "Useful facts and figures":

Notes for American and Australian users

In America the 8-fl oz measuring cup is used. In Australia metric measures are now used in conjunction with the standard 250-ml measuring cup. The Imperial pint, used in Britain and Australia, is 20 fl oz, while the American pint is 16 fl oz. It is important to remember that the Australian tablespoon differs from both the British and American tablespoons; the table below gives a comparison. The British standard tablespoon, which has been used throughout this book, holds 17.7 ml, the American 14.2 ml and the Australian 20 ml. The teaspoon holds approximately 5 ml in all three countries.

British             American        Australian
1 teaspoon          1 teaspoon      1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon        1 tablespoon    1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons       3 tablespoons   2 tablespoons
3 1/2 tablespoons   4 tablespoons   3 tablespoons
4 tablespoons       5 tablespoons   3 1/2 tablespoons

An Imperial/American guide to solid and liquid measures

Imperial             American
Solid Measures
1 lb butter or
  margarine          2 cups
1 lb flour           4 cups
1 lb granulated or
  castor sugar       2 cups
1 lb icing sugar     3 cups
8 oz rice            1 cup

Liquid measures
1/4 pint liquid      2/3 cup liquid
1/2 pint             1 1/4 cup
3/4 pint             2 cups
1 pint               2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 pints          3 3/4 cups
2 pints              5 cups (2 1/2 pints)

Note: when making any of the recipes in this book, only follow one set of measures as they are not interchangeable

  • There is also a question specifically on converting measurements : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/76/67
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 1:58
  • comment on How do you convert British recipes to American measurements? by Niall : not to mention that a 15ml tablespoon isn't a tables-poon but a dessert-spoon. Though for recipes this is now always taken to be ~15ml, older cookbooks will mean ~25ml when they use the term "table-spoon"
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 19:10
  • 2
    I love how American recipes call for cups for solid ingredients and then the author of "Cooking for Geeks" tried it with friends and the cup of flour varied by 31% in mass between the most extreme measurements. Lesson should be to weigh the ingredients if you profess to follow a recipe. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 19:57
  • 2
    @0xC0000022L : some cookbooks (e.g., Fannie Farmer) will specifically tell you how to use the cup to measure (spoon the flour into the cup, use a knife or similar to scrape it flat without packing). If you compare that to someone who scoops using the cup, and then shakes to level it, yes, it's going to vary greatly.
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 23:10

Standardized can sizes (eg, "a #10 can" or "a No.1 can").

When dealing with some older US recipes, you may find recipes that mention the size of a can as a number. I have no idea if these same standards were used in other countries. (I would assume Canada, but I have no idea)

Note that this is not the same as giving a weight ("8 oz. can" or "14 oz. can"), as it's a standard about the size in terms of width & height of the can, for stacking on shelves.)

From The Spruce Eats (original link has approx weights, too; I computed mL):

Can Size Name      Volume        Metric
-------------      ------        ------
Picnic             1 1/4 cups    300mL
12 ounces vacuum   1 1/2 cups    360mL
No. 1              1 1/3 cup     320mL
No. 1 tall         2 cups        480mL
No. 1 square       2 cups        480mL
No. 2              2-1/2 cups    600mL
No. 2 1/2          3-1/2 cups    840mL
No. 2 1/2 square   scant 4 cups  ~940mL?
No. 3              5-3/4 cups    1380mL (see below)
No. 3 squat        2-3/4 cups    660mL
No. 5              7-1/3 cups    1760mL
No. 10             12 cups       2880mL (see below)
No. 300            1-3/4 cups    420mL
No. 303            2 cups        480mL

Note: "scant" means "slightly less than". The link also has a discussion of why certain foods were packaged in certain sizes.

The above chart slightly disagrees with the one from The University of Nebrasca-Lincoln which says that "No.1" and "Picnic" are the same size (1-1/4c.), but does say they are "Can size approximations".

Sizes.com gives height and diameter of various can sizes, but there's no mention if these are internal or external measurements. Oddly, their definition of a #3 can (4-3/16" dia, 4-7/8" high) would be ~67 cu.in, or 4.6 cups if I'm doing my math right ... more than a cup less than every other definition I've found) They say a #3 can is 32 fl.oz (4cups; 950mL), and a "#3 tall" seems to match everyone else's definition for a #3 (46 fl.oz; ~1360mL)

Sizes.com also disagrees with every other site about #10 cans -- they say it's 1 gallon (16cups; 3785mL) while other sites say 12cups (2840mL).

Supposedly, there were ten original sizes designated (#1 through #10, and the three digit ones came later, along with the modified types. I've also found a few others that weren't mentioned in the Spruce Eats link. (I've derived some measurements for completeness):

  • #1 Juice : 1-5/8 cups (13 fl.oz; 390mL)
  • #2 short : 1-3/4c. (14 fl.oz; 420mL)
  • #2 tall : 3c. (24 fl.oz; 720mL)
  • #202 : 1/2 c. (4fl.oz; 120mL)
  • #202 tall : 5/8 c. (5fl. oz; 150mL)
  • #211 : 1-1/2 cups (360mL)
  • #3 tall : 5-3/4c. (46 fl.oz; 1360mL)
  • #3 Cylinder : 5-3/4 cups (46 fl.oz; 1360mL)
  • #6 : 8 cups (64 fl.oz; 1893mL based on "double the capacity of the No. 3")

Boiling potatoes (US) are waxy potatoes (UK, US). This refers to low-starch potatoes that don't fall apart when cooked. Sometimes called roasting potatoes (US). New potatoes behave like waxy potatoes, even if they come from a variety used for baking.

You roast floury potatoes not waxy one

  • 1
    Not in the US we don’t. “Roasted potatoes” are cut into chunks (or smaller potatoes), tossed in oil, then put in the oven. Floury potatoes are used for what we call “baked potatoes” where they’re put in the oven whole (possibly wrapped in foil, what the Brits would call a ‘jacket potato’) and let cook until the middle can be easily mashed. Americans don’t consider that to be ‘roasted’, they consider it ‘baked’. Why? I have no idea.
    – Joe
    Commented May 31, 2022 at 19:04
  • @Joe so we roast the same way, try using floury potatoes, you get a lovely crispy outside, Maris Piper is the current fav variety in the UK.
    – WendyG
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 8:39
  • 1
    they sell potato by color more than by named variety here (white, red, yellow, purple). There are some exceptions (russet, red bliss, Yukon gold, fingerlings), but in general a store in the US only has 3-4 types unless they’ve also got a variety of sizes
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 10:36
  • 1
    Unless you’re going to some specialty grocer or maybe a farmer’s market, most vegetables in the US aren’t majorly differentiated. An international grocery store might have 4 types of sweet potato, but your basic American supermarket has one (unless they have smaller ones in bag at a higher price). Onions are one of the exceptions: they might label them ‘walla walla’ or ‘vidalia’, but odds are it all gets rung up as ‘sweet onion’ because of how the product codes were made. About the only fresh produce that we have names for are apples
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 10:59
  • 1
    I roast all sorts of potatoes. (Typically, I just buy yellow potatoes and use them for everything), but it’s the American grocery stores that sometimes label waxy potatoes as ‘roasting potatoes’. I know I’ve discussed the stupid ways in which potatoes are sold in the US on here, but all I’m finding is the comment on cooking.stackexchange.com/a/114967/67
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 11:11

American and UK flour designations do not line up well, as American flour has significant variability by brand

UK flour:

  • Plain flour : 8-10% protein
  • Strong flour : 12-14% protein

US Cake and Pastry Flour

  • Swan’s Down Cale Flour : (6-8%)
  • Softasilk Bleached Cake Flour : 6.9%
  • Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Pastry Flour : (7-8%)
  • King Arthur Unbleached White Pastry Flour : 8%
  • King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour : 9.4%

US All Purpose Flour

  • Pillsbury AP : 8%
  • White Lily AP : 9%
  • Gold Medal AP : 10.5%
  • Bob’s Red Mill AP : 11%
  • King Arthur AP : 11.7%

US Bread Flour:

  • Pillsbury Best Bread Flour : 12%
  • King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour : 12.7%
  • Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour : 13%
  • Gold Medal Bread Flour : 13.3%
  • White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour : 13.3%

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.