Questions tagged [language]

Questions about naming and translation of culinary terms and phrases.

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209 votes
7 answers
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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 (UK) / Australian (AU) / Canadian (CA) / American (US) / ...
10 votes
7 answers
3k 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 '...
Joe's user avatar
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43 votes
9 answers
241k views

Stock vs Broth - What's the difference in usage?

I've now learned (from this site) that broth and stock are not the same product (see this great answer). So, in any given scenario, why should one use stock rather than broth, or vice versa? i.e. ...
JustRightMenus's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
rumtscho's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do we use the term Quick "Bread"?

I know there are questions here already about Quick bread vs cake, or muffins vs cupcakes. But I'm not asking about the sugar, fat ratio thing. I'm more interested in the "bread" part of it. To me ...
Steve Paparatto's user avatar
25 votes
12 answers
61k 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 ...
Jay's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
94k views

How many ounces is a British "tin" of tomatoes?

If I have a British recipe that lists "1 tin chopped plum tomatoes," how many ounces is that? In British English, does "tin" usually refer to a specific size? In the US, cans generally come in 14 and ...
Paul J. Lucas's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
9k views

What should I use for old recipes that call for 'buttermilk'?

Old-school buttermilk is the milk left after churning butter and is not today's 'cultured buttermilk'. A recent answer to the question about what to use for 'sweet milk' mentions : Buttermilk was ...
Joe's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
24k 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?
rose's user avatar
  • 867
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Chilli powder in the UK

Today, chilli powder in the UK, as sold by the major supermarkets and the largest independent brand, is a US/Mexican style blend of powdered red chillis with herbs, spices and seasonings such as ...
David Richerby's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

What's the difference between a cobbler, crisp, crumble, buckle, and betty?

I've heard all these terms at different times but never really understood the differences. What distinguishes various fruit-and-topping desserts such as a cobbler, crisp, crumble, buckle, or betty -- ...
Erica's user avatar
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10 votes
8 answers
33k 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 ...
Tea Drinker's user avatar
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40 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
Robert's user avatar
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28 votes
7 answers
172k 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. ...
Theorian's user avatar
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21 votes
10 answers
474k 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?
user3909's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
4k 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.
Eri's user avatar
  • 273
16 votes
5 answers
100k 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 ...
Pops's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
15k views

What makes cake a Sponge Cake? And what doesn't?

I've been watching the Great British baking show and they refer to basically every cake as a sponge. I live in the USA and grew up in Australia. We just called cake, cake. I know how to make a ...
Rose's user avatar
  • 141
12 votes
4 answers
28k 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), ...
Pointy's user avatar
  • 1,851
6 votes
2 answers
5k 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!
evilReiko's user avatar
  • 467
5 votes
2 answers
22k views

Difference between saucepan, frying pan and skillet

What, if anything, is difference between a saucepan, frying pan and skillet? I am heating up some frozen vegetables and the directions said to boil 1/4 in a saucepan. This doesn't really work as 1/4 ...
Celeritas's user avatar
  • 1,635
3 votes
2 answers
438 views

Is "medium white sauce" a usefully distinct term?

I am familiar with a basic white sauce, or béchamel, and know how to make it. I recently came across a recipe (circa 1950's) that calls for 1 cup medium white sauce. Is this the same as a béchamel? (...
Erica's user avatar
  • 8,402
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between "water/drink enhancers" and cordial?

I was doing a bit of internet browsing today, and I came across this image (linked rather than embedded because of copyright), which shows a bottle of hand disinfectant along with three bottles ...
nick012000's user avatar
  • 1,044
1 vote
2 answers
142 views

Liquefying through long boiling

It seems my questions at ELL hit a dead end, that's not learner's level English...\ Is there a name in English for the process of turning ingredients of a dish into liquid through boiling them long ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 3,033
16 votes
6 answers
8k views

Is eggnog just a milkshake?

Last year I tried eggnog for the first time, following a homemade recipe involving egg, cream and sugar. The result tasted like a thin vanilla ice-cream milkshake (with spices and alcohol). Recipes ...
lofidevops's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
76k views

Difference between burritos, chimichanga, and enchiladas?

What is the difference between burritos, enchiladas, and chimichangas?
william keeling's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
237k views

Why is fish not considered as meat?

While reading a thread on cooking, 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 “...
Ching Chong's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
24k 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 ...
Cindy's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
44k 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 "...
warren's user avatar
  • 583
13 votes
2 answers
14k 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?
nohat's user avatar
  • 1,070
13 votes
2 answers
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?
Aquarius_Girl's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
100k 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?
tonylo's user avatar
  • 872
11 votes
5 answers
62k 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 ...
Tea Drinker's user avatar
  • 4,190
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

Whats the cooking method called where you bury the raw food in hot charcoal ashes?

Whats this cooking method called where you bury the raw food (potato, sugarbeet, guava, corn cobs)in hot charcoal ashes?
Midhat's user avatar
  • 721
10 votes
1 answer
5k views

What does it mean for something to be broiled?

More specifically, what is the difference between broiling and boiling?
Casebash's user avatar
  • 559
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a name for the mushy sludge that forms around/beneath meat as it cooks?

I've found the terms "aspic" and of course "drippings" and "gravy", but I don't think any of those quite describe what I'm asking about — for example, we just baked some meatballs and between each one ...
natevw's user avatar
  • 193
7 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
7 votes
1 answer
25k views

What German product is the equivalent of cream in a recipe from the United States?

I'm looking at a Bolognese sauce recipe from a US cookbook and it contains the following ingredient: 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk Now I'm wondering what exactly the german equivalent of ...
user2495's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
11k views

What is the English name for Chitra Rajmah?

What is this variety of kidney beans called in English? We call them "Chitra Rajmah" in Hindi. http://www.helloorganic.com/Rajma_chitra.html
Aquarius_Girl's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's a pan and what's a pot?

In Dutch, we have just one word for pots and pans, which happens to be "pan", so I was surprised to learn about the word "pot". I learned that pans are for frying, which is why they are shallow and ...
Belle's user avatar
  • 355
5 votes
2 answers
7k views

What does "serving" and "serving size" mean?

I have a tin of 16 oz mixed nuts, whose label says Serving Size 1oz Serving Per Container 16 I have a can of 454g refried pinto beans, whose label says Serving Size 1/2 cup (124g) Servings Per ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 1,937
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Difference between sweating and sautéeing?

I would like to know the difference between sweating and sautéeing? Is the difference between the two, the fact that one uses oil, and the other uses fat, or are there any other aspects to be ...
Jack Maddington's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Fried rice vs pulav vs biryani

How can we differentiate between fried rice, pulav and biryani? As these three rice dishes look similar, are there any differences between three of them?
Iqra Amanat's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the definition of "cooking" imply heat?

Through comments posted in this question, I'd like to expand the commentary on the definition of cooking. Specifically, is heat an essential stipulation? According to the wiki article on cooking: ...
WitYoBadSelf's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
20k views

How much is a "splash"

I've run into several recipes which asked for a "splash of" water, soy sauce, etc. How much is a "splash"? I assume if it's something more concrete like 1/4 cup, they would have said so. Since it's ...
Classified's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

What properties allow something to be considered "milk"?

Traditionally, milk is defined as (from Merriam-Webster): 1: a white liquid produced by a woman to feed her baby or by female animals to feed their young; especially : milk from cows or goats that is ...
spacetyper's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
346 views

Is sour milk, soured milk, and milk that has gone sour, all the exact same thing?

Is sour milk, soured milk, and milk that has gone sour, all the exact same thing? Related to this question: Is buttermilk another term for sour milk or some part of sour milk? and especially this ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
188 views

What is the correct term for this method of cooking?

I'm a reluctant cook at the best of times but I'm interested to know what I just did. I got a massive bone for the dog from the butcher. There was quite a lot of meat on it so I thought the dog and I ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
555 views

A “puck” of frozen food

I found a recipe that calls for 5 “pucks” of frozen spinach. I cannot find a definition of the term. I need to know how many ounces are in a puck?
Maggie's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

What does "heat the oven to broil" mean?

This recipe states: Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle. Then later: Broil the salmon on the baking sheet ... about 10 to 12 minutes. I don't understand what this means. ...
Jason C's user avatar
  • 2,186