Wednesday, 20 February 2008

When is an aubergine not an aubergine?

When its in America! Yes I appologise for the bad pun but I couldn't resist. English has become the international language for the internet but what happens when the English is a mixture of American and British? Most of the food blogs I read happen to be American. Unfortunately this is yet another area where Brits are behind the US again although it looks like we're getting there gradually.

The real point of this post is the confusion I often get with American recipes. I'll be happy reading it until I reach: Eggplant or Zucchini or even more confusing Cilantro.(Aubergine , Courgette and Coriander) What on earth are they? and even worrying how much do I use? Cups are not the standard measurement here although it is easy enough to find them they're not the automatic assumption you come to.

Once that muddle is sorted out another alien word pops out: Broiling. My immediate association is London Broil and that's only because of South Beach. After much Googling I discover it means grilling. Which in turn creates more difficulties , as for Americans grilling is the UK equivalent of barbecue. Fine , you say to yourself I'll use an oven that'll be the same. Apparently not. UK and most of Europe use Celsius, America uses Fahrenheit. First time I saw a recipe that said to heat it up to 475, my first thought was i don't think my oven goes that high.

I know this confusion goes both ways , some of the more popular European blogs give measurements in cups to help. What we need is a glossary for American-British cooking terms and food names. If anyone knows of one, please send your answers on a postcard (or the comments section). On the other hand we could go back to the Latin names. (grin)

Maybe after all that I should stick to translating Spanish blogs instead. But instead the American blogs suck me back in with the sheer diversity. Now where did i put my American-British dictionary?

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