English-American Recipe Translator

Cooking with English cookbooks in America can be a frustrating experience, since so many of the ingredients change their names on this side of the Atlantic. So here's a short list of some of the more common food-related terms that are different in America, ranging from the obvious ("beetroot" is "beet") to the highly non-obvious ("chicory" is "endive" and "endive" is "chicory"), culled from various sources and personal experience...

Note: for some of these things, the American term is creeping into English usage, or vice versa. Also, I haven't attempted to explain the names of English dishes; if you want to know what an Angel on Horseback is, or Bosworth Jumbles, or how to distinguish Whim-Wham from Syllabub, then you'll need to consult a cookbook.


British recipes can be found on Lady Jane Pottle's British Comedy Food Page and on the recipe pages of Tesco's. Sources of British food are listed at British in America. The dinner co-op cookbook and USENET cookbook contain all sorts of recipes. There are indian recipes here.

Volume Measures

One US pint is 16 fluid ounces; one UK pint is 20 fluid ounces. (US and UK fluid ounces are also different, but not by enough to worry about.) Americans measure many ingredients by the cup; one cup is 8 fluid ounces. The British have a tendency to measure very large quantities in stones (variously 5, 8, 10, 14 or 16 pounds, depending on what it's a stone of), but you're not likely to need to know about that unless you're catering for vast numbers of people.


English terms are in bold face. If it's not listed here, try the Epicurious Dictionary, which is especially good at translating the names of spices.

Go back to Matt's homepage or the dinner co-op homepage.