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Different Names for the Same Food Item: What's in a Name?

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English crumpets & muffins,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buttered_crumpet2.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tesco_muffins.jpg

I've never before attempted to link pictures or anything else in the posts I have made so apologies in advance if the links herein don't work.

Both pictures come from Wikipedia where there are articles describing both items in detail.

Hopefully you can see that our crumpets are of a very distinctive style, best eaten just after toasting (using a toasting fork in front of the fire by preference) with lots of excellent butter that drips through the holes in the crumpet as it melts.

Muffins here are of a much denser texture than crumpets, they an be flavoured, I'm sure I had bran and walnut in the past, they are often sliced in two and given additions sweet or savoury to make a kind of sandwich.

You will find American style muffins here in England also, courtesy of Starbucks etc.

What differentiates an American muffin from an American cup cake? Is it that the latter has a huge topping while the former will be plain on top? When I was young I knew nothing of cup cakes save for some little chocolate buns sold in boxes of six and with a thick layer of solid chocolate over the top, welding the cake into its paper 'cup' until the paper was torn away. Kept the cake moist if stored. Now 'cup cake' seems to be a title given to any small sweet bun, I don't believe the chocolate type of my childhood still exists. My memory says they were good, reason suggests less so, these were mass produced during the 1970s when mass produced food was less than excellent.

If you get the chance of English crumpets with good butter in front of a real fire in the midst of winter take it. One of the little things that makes winter here tolerable.

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I make my own yeast muffins (called English muffins here)  and crumpets, made with milk and baking soda.  Baked on a griddle in rings to contain the batter - otherwise they are unsweetened pancakes...  The muffins are baked on both sides, the crumpets only on the bottom, no turnover. 

 

A cupcake is cake batter baked in a "cup" - originally, back in the later part of the 19th century in what were called "gem" pans.

I believe in England they are called "Fairy Cakes"  as that is the way ex-pat Brits I have known refer to them.

Sometimes these are leavened with egg whites, like a sponge cake but most are leavened with baking powder. 

 

A muffin is a "quick bread" leavened with baking powder OR with baking soda and buttermilk,  and are much heavier and denser than a cupcake. 

The recipes are essentially the same as are made into loaves, pumpkin, banana, carrot, zucchini, spice, bran, etc.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Count me as another cilantro-sayer here.  For me cilantro=leafy green herb and coriander=whole spice.

Cilantro has long been the common term in NORTH AMERICA for the fresh leaves of Coriandrum sativum, while the dried seeds are identified as coriander.

This has become more common with the increase in population of Spanish-speaking people all over the U.S. 

However, it is not ONLY Hispanic people who use this herb.

 

When I was a child in the 1940s and into the early 1950s, the growing plant was called Chinese Parsley and was used sparingly (because of its distinctive flavor, quite different from the dried, ground seeds) in just a few dishes prepared by my grandparent's cook, a Gullah woman from the lowcountry.  One was a fish and rice stew.  The cook sowed coriander seeds in pots on the porch outside the kitchen (along with many other herbs).

 

Names evolve when things are in constant use and are introduced by immigrants or imported by merchants to offer to consumers.

 

Consider that 50 years ago, here in the U.S., there was only black pepper, white pepper, cayenne and "chili powder" on offer in regular markets.

NOW you can choose peppercorns of a particular variety, from a particular regional source and hundreds of types of chiles, fresh, dried or powdered.

 

Foods evolve and names evolve and they ALL are correct.   Sometimes the names are used to identify a flavor, not the plant itself.   One example:

A couple of local "ethnic" markets  sell Rau ram labeled as "Asian cilantro" or Vietnamese cilantro/coriander  and this is a totally different plant - Polygonum odoratum - but has the same flavor (almost) as fresh cilantro. 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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well then you are, in effect, speaking Spanish, and using the Spanish name, to a Spanish speaking population.

 

But the whole country isn't Southern CA.

When I see "cilantro" in an online recipe for an Indian dish, for example, it looks as ridiculous as if a Mexican salsa recipe called for "dhania leaves'

 

The word Coriander is the French name, so in all honesty there is no English word for it. Cilantro is the main term for it in the USA

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Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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The word Coriander is the French name, so in all honesty there is no English word for it. Cilantro is the main term for it in the USA

 

as of about 10 years ago, perhaps

 

before that, every store that HAD it called it coriander

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Here in southern California I have always found it as cilantro.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

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Here in southern California I have always found it as cilantro.

 

Actually back in the late 60's, very early 70's I think Chinese Parsley was in fashion in the mainstream markets

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Actually back in the late 60's, very early 70's I think Chinese Parsley was in fashion in the mainstream markets

I had no idea what cilantro was until I married in 1978. My family of origin was very basic meat and potatoes. When I began cooking the family dinner in 1967 I soon bored of cooking the same old same old. I had to be very careful about how far away from basic I ranged but I did try new (to me) things. I still have a very clear memory of the first white sauce I made.

 

Even though I often accompanied my mother to the supermarket I did not really pay attention to what was available and what things were called since I was cooking to the tastes of my parents and that is what my mother shopped for. I don't think I even realized that there were any other potatoes than russet at the time. Anyway, what I'm doing a poor job of saying is that I have no doubt that before my grocery shopping for myself I would have no memory of the other names for cilantro but have no trouble accepting that cilantro was called by another name.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

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One that bugs me is the common mislabeling of poblanos as pasillas.  They aren't.  They're fresh (usually unripe) anchos.  Pasillas, meanwhile, are dried chilacas.  See Cook's Thesaurus, comparing fresh and dried chiles.

 

FWIW, Cook's Thesaurus plunks for cilantro as the preferred name for the herb.

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Well Västerbotten is a brand name and can only be made in Burträsk  but Herrgård. Präst, Svecia, Grevé and hushåll are also name protected and doesnt matter which company who makes it, they have to follow guide lines.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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