Questions tagged [language]

Questions about naming and translation of culinary terms and phrases.

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210 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) / ...
55 votes
5 answers
26k 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 ...
Shadow's user avatar
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51 votes
5 answers
187k 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 1,360
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
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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39 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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39 votes
2 answers
6k 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. ...
Yamikuronue's user avatar
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36 votes
10 answers
32k 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 ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 461
31 votes
5 answers
10k 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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30 votes
6 answers
6k views

What is "layering flavors"? What does it accomplish and how do I do it?

Recently I've been into cooking videos and tutorials and something that stands out to me is this concept of "layering flavors" that some chefs use when they add ingredients. Example: We're ...
David DPG's user avatar
  • 403
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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27 votes
8 answers
16k 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 ...
ColonD's user avatar
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26 votes
5 answers
8k 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?
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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24 votes
4 answers
6k views

What do American chefs mean by "Red pepper flakes"? [duplicate]

I see the term "Red pepper flakes" used often by American chefs, but to the European mind this term is very confusing. It could mean flaked and dried: Red chilli (e.g. Kashmiri, Birds Eye ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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23 votes
8 answers
20k 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 ...
Mark Henderson's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Tom Anderson's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
5k 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:
Mads Skjern'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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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
  • 211
21 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Yuji's user avatar
  • 313
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is sortexed rice?

Here is a link to rice I want to buy. It is quoted as being polished and sortexed. I was wondering exactly that meant? Sortexed is not a word I heard before.
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Old biscuit recipe question - "until the dough blisters"

I'm reading through some old (early 1900's) cookbooks and something that keeps coming up is beating dough "until it blisters" - here's an example. VIRGINIA BEATEN BISCUIT. One quart flour. ...
biscuitman's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
6k views

What exactly are American recipes containing "smoked sausage" or "smoked Italian sausage" referring to?

I have recently come across several American recipes that call for an ingredient described as 'Smoked Sausage' or 'Smoked Italian Sausage'. Here in Australia, we try to be a little more specific, so ...
Paull Alekna's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
36k 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 ...
Sobachatina'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
  • 1,065
16 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
AnotherPerson'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
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a refrigerator tray in older recipes?

Many older cookbooks call for filling a “refrigerator tray”. For example, in the 1960 Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book the recipe for “Banana Ice Cream” says to “Pour into refrigerator trays....
Jerry Stratton's user avatar
15 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
15 votes
2 answers
4k views

What's the process of making black garlic called?

it's not caramelized – it doesn't get hot enough. it's not fermented – the process is enzymatic, not due to fungus, yeast, or bacteria. it's not pickled – no acid brine is added it's not curing – no ...
pleasePassTheCheese'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
  • 4,678
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
14 votes
4 answers
36k 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 ...
Brent's user avatar
  • 321
14 votes
4 answers
105k 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.....
Robert's user avatar
  • 1,323
14 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Steve Hiner's user avatar
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
2 answers
5k 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
  • 8,363
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

what is a 10 cent package of instant potatoes and biscuit mix

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. ...
chris's user avatar
  • 131
13 votes
5 answers
101k 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
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
  • 18.3k
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
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
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

What kind of yeast is this?

I have a type of yeast that I'm finding hard to identify by English standard. These are picture of it: Whole, uncut. cut in half In my country, Bulgaria, we call it "live" yeast, despite ...
mummy's user avatar
  • 193
12 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 2,786
12 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
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
12 votes
9 answers
33k 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!
Wizard79's user avatar
  • 4,603
12 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
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