Questions tagged [language]

Questions about naming and translation of culinary terms and phrases.

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174
votes
4answers
62k 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 ...
56
votes
5answers
21k views

Why isn't Almond Milk (and other non-animal based 'milk') considered juice?

As per the title, I consider "Milk" to be the substance secreted by living being to sustain their young, whether they be human, cow, dog, etc... Almonds do not produce milk to sustain their young, in ...
48
votes
4answers
150k 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 ...
40
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
39
votes
2answers
7k 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"? Is ...
38
votes
1answer
3k 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. ...
35
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10answers
29k views

What's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables?

I was wondering what's (really) the difference between fruit and vegetables. Obviously I can name different fruits and vegetables, but if you ask me what's really the distinguishing factor, I wouldn't ...
29
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
29
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7answers
154k 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. ...
27
votes
8answers
12k views

What are things like Bread, Rice and Cereal collectively known as?

I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the English language stack exchange but here goes: We have broad classifications like "Fruit" and "Vegetable" and "Meat"/"Protein". What do you collectively ...
25
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5answers
6k views

Is there a word for the flavour shared by onion, spring onion, shallot, leek, and chive?

Among the flavours of onions, spring onions, shallots, leeks, and chives there is one that they share. Is there a name for it?
25
votes
12answers
58k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

What does it mean that a pan is “anti jamming”?

Lots of shops call their food pans "anti-jamming", but I have not been able to find out what that means. I don't think it's related to radio communication or making fruit jam :) Here is an example:
21
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
876 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 ...
19
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10answers
421k 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?
17
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “lightly crushed” mean for cardamon pods?

I am currently attempting to make the “Fragrant Spiced Rice Pudding” on page 136 of “Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking.” I am a novice with cooking so forgive me if my question is common sense for those ...
16
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6answers
7k 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 ...
16
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3answers
3k 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.
15
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5answers
90k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
14
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4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
43k views

Difference between burritos, chimichanga, and enchiladas?

What is the difference between burritos, enchiladas, and chimichangas?
14
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7answers
218k 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 “...
14
votes
1answer
315 views

What other English names are there for dried grapes?

In the US we refer to basically all dried grapes as raisins. In cooking shows in the UK I hear them refer to sultanas. I've also read that dried currants are really dried grapes, not actually the ...
13
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?
13
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4answers
2k views

10 cent package

I am converting my mother's recipes in a book for our family. The recipe calls for a 10 cent package of instant potatoes and biscuit mix. does anyone have any idea of what that would equal out to be. ...
13
votes
4answers
45k 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?
13
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
34k 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 "...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
12
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2answers
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 -- ...
12
votes
9answers
26k 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!
12
votes
3answers
3k 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?
12
votes
2answers
18k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
56k 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 question.....
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Unambiguously referring to “spiciness”

Anyone who likes (or hates) spicy food has been in the situation: You're at a restaurant, your mother-in-law is preparing dinner, or you're preparing dinner for your best friend, and the question ...
11
votes
3answers
452 views

Can a fish living in fresh water be called seafood?

Pangasius (Wikipedia) says: Pangasius is a genus of medium-large to very large shark catfishes native to fresh water in South and Southeast Asia. ... In 2011, Pangasius was sixth in ...
11
votes
5answers
48k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between a deep fryer and a chip pan?

As described in the Wikipedia article, a chip pan is a pan that contains oil for frying. The oil is heated to a high temperature, and then usually a metal basket is lowered into the pan for frying of ...
11
votes
3answers
22k 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?
11
votes
0answers
544 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
23k 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), ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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?
10
votes
6answers
566 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

What does it mean for something to be broiled?

More specifically, what is the difference between broiling and boiling?