Author Topic: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange  (Read 269754 times)

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Kess

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Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« on: November 18, 2010, 04:31:50 AM »
One of the things I've found interesting about EHell is finding out little bits of information about America, such as your word for "grill" being "broil" and what you mean by "biscuits".  It has seemed, in several threads, that other people might be interested in this too.  So I thought I'd start a thread.  If anyone has any questions to put to people across the pond from you (in either direction!) put them here, and hopefully someone from the relevant country will answer.  Feel free to add more info to anyone else's answers, too, or give a different perspective.

A couple of my questions to start us off:

In the UK, class has very, very little to do with how much money one has.  We have millionaires who are working class and penniless peers.  I've heard that in America the opposite is true, which might have something to do with what else I've been told - that your ideas of class are less all-pervasive than in the UK, so the main thing to base assessment of someone's class on is how much money they have.

Your measurements in recipes are in cups - do you have a special sized measuring cup in the house or just use a random cup/mug of the right-ish size?  Do you use kitchen scales for anything?

Is it the norm for Americans to introduce themselves by name to everyone they meet or is it just tourists here? :)

M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2010, 04:37:26 AM »
Not touching the money/class issue with a seven-foot pole. ;)

Yes, we have what are called measuring cups. One cup is eight ounces, or about 237 mL.

I don't introduce myself by name. In fact, I'll talk to people for hours before we get around to names. I'm weird, however.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 04:39:13 AM by M-theory »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 04:48:26 AM »
A cup is a specific amount:

three teaspoons to a tablespoon
sixteen tablespoons to a cup
two cups to a pint
two pints to a quart
four quarts to a gallon

And you wonder why American kids don't stick with math  :P

squashedfrog

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 05:01:54 AM »
Ahh Im glad this has been brought up, because I need to check something.  Are american pounds (lbs) a different weight to English  pounds (lbs)? because Im getting different answers on the web? 

In England a pound in weight is 16oz and an oz is 25g so 400g? then there is 14 Ib in a Stone.   I know its odd, but something on the web said that US is different.  (it would certainly make The Biggest Loser US make more sense, which we are addicted to in the Frog houshold).

Also, what's "Shortening"?  I keep seeing it in recipes.  Is it like Lard?


M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 05:06:43 AM »
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.

squashedfrog

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 05:10:56 AM »
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.

I see! We dont get that here I dont think.   What colour is it? Sorry, to ask, but I have seen some wonderful recipes for cookies etc, and I always worry they won't work over here if I use a substitute.     

When you make pastry in the US, do you use shortening in that mixed with butter? 

Slartibartfast

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 05:15:50 AM »
shortening here is usually margarine (yellow) or Crisco (white), and is functionally exchangeable with either butter or lard for most uses.  I'm pretty sure dry ounces and liquid ounces are two different things - one is a measure of weight and one is of volume, maybe? - but one stone is the same as 14 pounds here too, although nobody uses stone  :P

A ton and a metric ton are also different - judging from the colloquial expressions "a [euphemism for excrement]-ton" and "a metric [euphemism for excrement]-ton," I think the metric one is bigger   ;)

Slartibartfast

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 05:18:47 AM »
Ooh, so I do have a question for those of you on the other side of the Atlantic: many hotels in the US offer a free "Continental breakfast," which usually includes juice and coffee and toast and bagels/muffins/donuts and dry cereal with milk.  Does this even remotely resemble any sort of regular breakfast in Europe, or is it just a name?

squashedfrog

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 05:22:50 AM »
Hi

A Continental breakfast here will be toast jam or some other condiment like marmalade or honey, a croissant or a pain du chocolate, and you can get cheese and ham (in slices, cold).

When I was in a hotel in Germany (Berlin) once, they had little bottles of vodka on the breakfast buffet table and tomato juice too.  I was like ... WHOA!

squashedfrog

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 05:54:50 AM »
One thing I have always wondered about - Pumpkin Pie?

We dont have it over here and it sounds delicious!

What is the consistancy?  Is it like a light and cakey affair in a pastry case (rather like a bakewell tart, which is sweet pastry case, layer of jam, rich almond cake and poss royal icing on top) or is it dense and rich, like an egg custard or pecan pie?

I had a pumpkin tart in Thailand once, that was rather like steamed unbaked cake mix - it was lovely!  though I think Pumpkin pie in the US would be quite different?

M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 05:57:29 AM »
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.

I see! We dont get that here I dont think.   What colour is it? Sorry, to ask, but I have seen some wonderful recipes for cookies etc, and I always worry they won't work over here if I use a substitute.     

When you make pastry in the US, do you use shortening in that mixed with butter? 

It's very pure white.

Pastry recipes vary - shortening is considered the politically correct substitute for lard these days, but butter is still used sometimes. It's usually one or the other, but I've seen recipes that use both.

Personally, I like my pastry (and tamales, and refried beans) made with lard; I don't care what the FDA says about my coronary arteries.

M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 06:01:41 AM »
One thing I have always wondered about - Pumpkin Pie?

We dont have it over here and it sounds delicious!

What is the consistancy?  Is it like a light and cakey affair in a pastry case (rather like a bakewell tart, which is sweet pastry case, layer of jam, rich almond cake and poss royal icing on top) or is it dense and rich, like an egg custard or pecan pie?

I had a pumpkin tart in Thailand once, that was rather like steamed unbaked cake mix - it was lovely!  though I think Pumpkin pie in the US would be quite different?

It is delicious! I've met very few people who don't like it.

The consistency varies, but it's usually a sort of light custard. It's not too sweet, and is flavored with cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, which are sold pre-ground and mixed as "pumpkin pie spice." It comes in a flaky short crust and is usually served with whipped cream (either real or from a can) on top.

I like mine ice-cold as a counterpoint to the warm spice flavors.

M-theory

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 06:10:15 AM »
Are licorice and blackcurrant candies as good as they sound? I've been dying to try them ever since I first heard about them.

Larrabee

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 06:29:40 AM »
We sometimes measure in 'cups' in the UK too, its not as common these days bit all my mum's school cookbooks from the 70s have the ingredients in cups.

A UK cup is 250ml.

StarDrifter

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 06:45:21 AM »
Here in Australia (tee hee, Southern Hemisphere nudging in on the trans-Atlantic exchange...) we have blackcurrant lollies and they are the best things EVAR.

I have a jar at home that is the blackcurrant jar, it holds blackcurrant boiled lollies and they are awesome.

Licorice is my dad's favourite, and Ace's, but I can't stand the stuff!
... it might frighten them.
Victoria,