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North American/French Baking Equivalents- A Guide?


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In my 40’s, I had always wanted to live in France but never seemed to be getting any closer to making it happen. So in 2003 I took the plunge by leaving my job and moving to Paris. I enrolled at Ferrandi to study pastry and bread baking.

When I first moved there, it was quite a challenge trying to find equivalents for typical North American baking items. It was funny, I searched Paris high and low for vanilla extract but just could not put my hands on it. In frustration, I called a coordinator at school and she replied simply, “When the French want vanilla flavor, they use vanilla beans!” Well, duh! :blink: I felt so stupid.

Over the course of a year, I began assemble a small but useful vocabulary: cassonade, vergeoise, lait ribot, etc.

My question, finally, is this: Have you ever thought about publishing a definitive guide for conversions between North American and French baking ingredients?

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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First of all, BRAVO! How terrific that you had a dream and made it come true.

I empathize with the difficulty you had finding certain ingredients in Paris – why don’t they have canned pumpkin puree or, more basically, baking powder as we know it? – but I’ve never considered publishing a guide to conversions, although it’s a good idea. If you decide to do it – sign me up for a copy.

In the meantime, the glossary of French food terms with their American translations and equivalents that Patricia Wells developed for her Food Lovers Guide to Paris, is available on her website, www.patriciawells.com (I don't know how to make this a hot link -- sorry)

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First of all, BRAVO!  How terrific that you had a dream and made it come true.

I empathize with the difficulty you had finding certain ingredients in Paris – why don’t they have canned pumpkin puree or, more basically, baking powder as we know it? – but I’ve never considered publishing a guide to conversions, although it’s a good idea.  If you decide to do it – sign me up for a copy.

In the meantime, the glossary of French food terms with their American translations and equivalents that Patricia Wells developed for her Food Lovers Guide to Paris, is available on her website, www.patriciawells.com (I don't know how to make this a hot link -- sorry)

Thanks for the info; looks like a great resource!

Here's the link:

At Home with Patricia Wells : French to English Food Glossary

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Share on other sites

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