The American-British Food Dictionary

sneak peak: it's no secret that foods have different names around the world - this mini dictionary of American-British food translations should at least make it slightly easier to navigate confusing recipes!

[Alternative title: "What on earth is a rutabaga?"]

The American-British Food Dictionary, imogen molly blog,
some authentic American fruit (apparently), and yes, they're still called strawberries and blueberries over there

As if it wasn't tricky enough to figure out what cups mean in grams and millilitres, and whether a recipe wants you to use an American tablespoon or a British one (spoiler: pretty much every recipe ever wants you to use 15ml), we now also have to figure out what the ingredients themselves are.

Confusion, begone! For I have compiled a life-changing list translating all the differences I can think of. Some you will know already, some may blow your mind, but all will smoothify your culinary adventures.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, so suggestions for additions are very welcome. Split into sweet, savoury and neutral/miscellaneous, and then in alphabetical order, here we go...

American - British
cookie - biscuit
graham crackers - digestives (essential for s'mores)
jelly - jam
molasses - treacle
oatmeal - porridge
pitaya - dragon fruit
powdered/confectioner's sugar - icing sugar
superfine sugar - caster sugar

arugula - rocket
bell pepper - pepper
chips - crisps
cilantro - coriander
eggplant - aubergine
fava bean - broad bean
fries - chips
garbanzo bean - chickpea
navy bean - haricot bean
pickle - gherkin
romaine lettuce - cos lettuce
rutabaga - turnip/swede
scallion/green onion - spring onion
snow pea - mangetout
string bean - french bean
zucchini/summer squash - courgette

Neutral/miscellaneous (also called: things that aren't inherently sweet or savoury but are often used to make sweet things but can also be savoury so don't want to be pigeonholed)
all-purpose flour - plain flour
baking soda - bicarbonate of soda
biscuit - scone
canola oil - rapeseed oil
cornmeal - polenta (sometimes)
cornstarch - cornflour
grits - semolina

Well, that's that. Hope it was helpful and your kitchen endeavours are fruitful (pun intended) from this day forth!

- post #20 of 21 in the 21-day challenge -


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