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« The Definition of Blog & Blogging? | Main | "The Weeds." Restaurant Speak: Lexicon of Cooks. »

05 October 2008


Great list!
Larder:Pantry/Cold room, I think

I'm so enjoying reading about your exploits in London!

fresh coriander = cilantro!

I don't know that I'd approximate golden syrup to corn syrup. Golden syrup has a very distinctive taste (weak treacle, maybe?), that's very different to the much more neutral corn syrup.

And isn't molasses the black stuff? Treacle is a light brown, and a lighter taste than molasses. So I'm not sure that molasses and treacle are quite the same either.

The differences are very interesting though - quite the challenge!

Hello Jenenifer,

Lyle's Golden Syrup is cooked sugarcane juice. Molasses and Treacle are exactly the same thing, but cooked far longer. I realize that LGS and CS are not the same thing, not the same thing at all since the former is derived from sugarcane and the latter from corn, but my point here is that LGS is what is used as an invert sugar in recipes here in the UK the same way CS is used in the States, in commercial cooking environments.

Treacle is one kind of molasses, as molasses is actually an umbrella term for all sorts of sugars created the same way/ family. But you're right in saying it's much lighter in color, and thus flavour, than many American molasses'.

For every baking challenge there is a delicious solution and hopefully a new discovery... Shuna

Shuna, you should do the farenhiet to celcius and the cups to ml's issues: I live in Canada and still can't convert! When I was in school the metric system was not yet initiated in Canada.

Natalie, there are a lot of websites that make great conversions but the easiest one I've found for celcius to Farenheit is this equation:

celcius x 1.8 + 32.
10C x 1.8 = 18 +32 = 50F

Needless to say as a baker I love grams and would never go back to cups and ounces if I could help it! Wish the USA would get out of the dark ages on that one. - Shuna

Thank you for the castor sugar explanation - I'm mystified by these terms a Scottish blogger used while giving me her recipes:

double cream heavy whipping cream
demerara sugar raw or turbinado sugar
self-raising flour same in the States ---> flour with added baking powder and baking soda
strong white bread flour bread flour = high in gluten
easy blend dried yeast I think this is a yeast you can easily can get at a supermarket. Look for dried yeast that is not super fast acting
Ploughman's Lunch hearty slabs of bread, gorgeous wedge of a cheese like cheddar, Branston Pickle and a pint of lager. Anyone else want to chime in here?

If you could translate, maybe I could finally make that Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding...

Katrina, find my explanations in italics. I hope this helps... Shuna

1 Gallon = 1 Gallon (measured using the dented Gallon measure)

The Brits call a rutabaga a "swede", which has little to do with baking but is nonetheless very confusing. And a Brit friend of mine, who is the Queen of the Lard Pie Crust, insists that 10x Confectioner Sugar is not the same as icing sugar, and point to her own failures at Royal Icing as proof.

hello E. Yes the vegetables are a whole other story. Squash is a drink and a courgette is a zucchini. But in terms of icing sugar and 10X the main differences are this:
Icing sugar is a bit coarser in UK than USA and USA 10X has cornstarch added to it. But I am going to get to the absolute bottom on this one before too long because all basic Confectioner's Sugar recipes work in both countries, it's mostly about making room for the inherent differences... Shuna

Has anyone said "strong flour" to you yet? It's the British term for hard-wheat or high-protein flour - for bread IIRC.

And FWIW, but golden syrup is actually a cane syrup, just as treacle/molasses is. You're probably right that corn syrup is the closest US substance in terms of its weight (though I have seen Lyle's, the iconic UK golden syrup, for sale in the US), but there is a taste difference. I don't know if the different sources mean they are made of different sugars - that might make a difference to how much water they bind.

(US-born cook/baker raised in UK)

Hello Maryn,

This is good information, thanks. I did know the differences between Lyle's Golden Syrup and Corn Syrup, my point is that in kitchens here I have found the former more than the latter and never commercially in American kitchens. It's lovely stuff and I'm much happier using Lyle's over CS indeed!

I don't know the science behind comparing the two sugars but LGS is much thicker, yellower and more flavourful than CS so I probably wouldn't use so much LGS if I were to carry American recipes here.

perhaps one day someone will write the OED on Sugar and all bakers will take to the streets and celebrate! - Shuna

There is no substitute for golden syrup, although you're right that it is similar in consistency and chemical make -up to corn syrup!

Another confusion is that sometimes golden syrup is referred to as treacle. Black treacle is similar to molasses although I've never worked out if its exactly the same, it certainly tastes the same to me.

I'd also add that an american biscuit seems to be the same as an english scone.

A ploughmans lunch would be served with a pint of bitter, usually room temperature!

And I agree with the larder/pantry/dry storeroom.

I still find myself mystified by certain phrases in the states even after nearly 7 years.

jelly:Jello (really gelatin since jelly is not a brand name)
lolly ice:ice pop
green onion:scallion

I am enjoying reading about your escapades in England.

P.S. Isn't treacle tart made with LGS rather than Lyle's Treacle?

Bank Box = hotel pan
Bin = garbage can
Pot wash = dish washer
Bird = cute girl
Fit = Hot girl (can you guess what the guys in the kitchen spent a lot of time talking about?)
Fanny = well, front bum. There was a french server named Fanny and none of the boys could ever say it with a straight face.

These are brilliant Dana, thanks! Funny enough I'm not working with any British Nationals in this kitchen. So thanks for the fill in. Always helpful to know all the dirty kitchenword slang, heh. - Shuna

Hurrah for the metric system!!! The only good thing we got from the cruel imperialists.

One other things about Lyle's Golden syrup is my favorite breakfast application, taking one's bowl of hot oatmeal and using a spoonful of Golden Syrup to write your first initial in your bowl, and then the first initial of your sweetheart's in their bowl. That ends confusion rather than causes it, at least as far as outmeal is concerned, but the principle remains unaltered.

And if you put in the formula

10 * 1.8 + 32 =

into a Google Search, replacing the 10 with whatever centigrade temp you want to convert to fahrenheit and click Search, Google will perform the calculation for you.

So just how did the U.S. Gallon come to be? Any one know? I feel sure that the Mayflower would have had accurate Gallon measures on board. What happened? I've been curious about this since I bought an American motorcycle back in '78 and having to deal with a 5 Gallon tank not holding 5 Gallons. U.K. man Me. I'm so glad you are enjoying your stay here Shuna.

hello Bernard, Thanks for the nice welcome to your fine home. I always enjoy London and this time I'm getting to enjoy it in a new way. I have no idea about the history of the Gallon. It's a good question. Do you know the history of the British Pint? - Shuna

Oh Me! It's complicated. I just did a little looking and found the answer about how the Gallon came to be. It's very interesting if you have the time to digest it all.

i think the Brits call a "spring onion" what they call "green onion or scallion" in the US?

swiss roll/jelly roll?
muffin/ english muffin
american muffin/muffin
(I know you said this isn't the case, but in my version of the world it still is)

I'll try and think of some more later

Oh, Sam, you're right! I thought I remembered a scallion being called a green onion, but now that you mentioned it, my grandfather did say spring onion. When I was a little girl, I would travel to England with my British mother every other year, and we would stay for six months. We used to have tea as a meal at my grandfather's house in Cheshire, and my favorite was buttered Hovis bread, soft boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes with salad cream, Cheshire cheese (what else?), Danish blue cheese, and spring onions following by a simple pudding. There was usually a Victoria sponge as well as black currant scones in the kitchen and a stash of Peak Freans' biscuits.

From the lists, looks like I could be bilingual here. hehe My biggest baking issue would be the ratio of flour to yeast(especially when making double, triple batches), substitutions between fresh, dry and instant yeast(the proportions needed). I once tried freezing extra pizza dough made with Saf, but it was still doubling in the freezer.

A neat Google trick is that you can convert almost anything to anything just by typing it in the search box. So convert boiling temp, type:
100 degrees celcius in fahrenheit
and you'll get the answer. You can convert centimeters to inches, tons to pounds, miles to kilometers, even currency! Google is pretty cool, and as a librarian I'm always learning new things to do with it.

Cling film - plastic/saran wrap

Good list !


I always get confused by "heavy cream" what's that in English?

Hello Jo, American Heavy cream is Pouring Double Cream in Britain. The cream here is much better/thicker than that of most regions in the United States. {We wish we had so many choices as y'all do here!} P.s. Love your blog-- glad you stopped by mine. ~ Shuna

My naive introduction to the language difference...

Born and raised on the streets of Philadelphia, I only heard a limited amount of British terms. I always heard how delicious "crumpets" were... So on my first trip to the UK I find this amazing little basement tea house. All kinds of goodies on display and I think to myself, here's my chance.

The server comes over, nice older lady, and asks to take my order. I order tea without milk, and a crumpet. She brings me my tea and sets down an English muffin. I say to her, 'No I wanted a crumpet that is an English muffin.'

She looks at me like I'm crazy and points to a yummy looking blueberry muffin and says.."That's an English Muffin" 4,OOO miles when I could have stayed home and had a Thomas's. Then, then there was the time when I ordered "Sweetbreads." Geeeeeeez not at all the fancy dessert they sounded like =) I was afraid to order anything else my entire trip.

Here in Northern Ireland we have our own version of British terms
Spring onions here are called scallions
Swede here is called turnip

oven gloves/pot holders

Strangely oven gloves are called gloves even when they are not.

Great list and useful for when I follow American recipes.

Why not quick dried yeast? I use Doves Farm organic quick dried yeast. What difference does it make ? Thanks Shuna

kitchen paper = paper towel
crisps = chips
chips = french fries

Angel Cake in the UK is completley different from Angel cake in thr US. The british one is a three layered multicoloured sponge.

Also, cilantro is coriander. In the US coriander is just used to refer to the seed.

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