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International English food terms

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The following list of international English food terms points out differences in food terminology between some different dialects of English:



United States Canada UK Australia
Dairy, eggs & meat
whole milk homogenized or 3% milk full fat or whole milk full-cream milk
skim, fat free, or nonfat milk skimmed milk, skim milk skimmed milk skim milk
2% milk 2% milk semi-skimmed milk "hilo"
large egg large egg medium egg large egg
ground meat or chopped (usually beef) ground or minced meat mince or minced meat mince
green onion or scallion green onion spring onion (scallion in some areas) spring onion
cilantro cilantro or coriander (or cilantro may refer to the leafy herb, and coriander to the dried spice of the seed) coriander coriander
cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe or rockmelon
zucchini zucchini courgette zucchini
squash squash marrow or squash — marrow specifically refers to a large, green elongated squash with white flesh pumpkin or squash
eggplant eggplant aubergine eggplant
garbanzo or chickpea chickpea chickpea chickpea
navy beans haricots haricot beans haricot beans
chard chard silverbeet or chard silverbeet
bell peppers or green/red/yellow peppers green peppers or bell peppers peppers, or green peppers (or red/yellow/orange peppers) capsicum — bell peppers sometimes describe a much smaller, sweeter pepper
chili peppers, hot peppers, chiles or by individual name (jalapeño, e.g.) chillis chillies, or by individual name (jalapeño, e.g.)
Prepared foods
pickle pickle (gherkin refers specifically to a "dwarf" pickle) gherkin gherkin
bouillon or stock cube stock cube stock cube stock cube
French fries or fries, or steak fries (for thicker versions), also "fish and chips" French fries, fries, or chips, depending on region, also "fish and chips" chips chips
chips or potato chips chips or potato chips crisps chips or potato chips
apple crisp or apple crumble apple crisp or apple crumble apple crumble apple crumble
ketchup or catsup ketchup tomato ketchup or tomato sauce or red sauce tomato sauce
Baking and baked goods
bread flour bread flour strong flour bread flour
all-purpose flour all-purpose flour plain flour plain flour
self-rising flour self-rising flour self-raising flour self-raising flour
cornstarch or corn starch cornstarch corn flour cornflour
golden raisins sultana raisins sultanas sultanas
corn syrup or KaroR syrup corn syrup corn syrup corn syrup
molasses molasses molasses – treacle describes a lighter molasses molasses – treacle describes a lighter molasses
powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar icing sugar or confectionery sugar icing sugar icing sugar
superfine sugar caster/castor sugar caster sugar
bread pudding Bread and butter pudding no equivalent
Steamed sponge pudding Sponge pudding (when made with currants, raisins or sultanas it is called Spotted dick) no equivalent
lemonade lemonade traditional, cloudy or still lemonade (NB traditional/cloudy lemonade can also be fizzy); lemon squash lemon squash
soda, pop, soda pop, cola, coke, or soft drink pop soft drink (although this refers to any non-alcoholic drink or fruit juice), fizzy drink, fizzy pop, pop or juice (Scotland) soft drink
lemon-lime soda/pop, or a brand name (e.g. Sprite) lemon or lemon-lime drink lemonade lemonade
fruit drink concentrate fruit concentrate squash or cordial cordial
apple juice or cider apple juice or cider apple juice sparkling apple juice
hard cider cider or hard cider cider cider
vermouth martini vermouth vermouth
dessert dessert dessert or pudding (in addition to the use describing pudding) dessert
Jell-o, Jello, jello or gelatin Jell-o, Jello, jello or gelatin jelly jelly
cookie cookie (unless referring to tea biscuits, for example) biscuit; also cookie, which refers to large soft "American-style" biscuits biscuit; also cookie, same definition as UK
biscuit biscuit, scone scone scone
digestive cookie digestive cookie digestive or digestive biscuit digestive biscuit

Digestive biscuits and Graham crackersEdit

These two items are fairly different, but are used similarly (e.g. to make crumb crusts for a cheesecake). Graham crackers are sweeter, and are available in different flavors (e.g. cinnamon, chocolate). Digestive biscuits are richer, and while slightly sweet, are used with cheese by a small minority. They are also available coated on one side with milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Digestive biscuits are common in the Northeast United States, served with tea. Peek Frean is a common brand in the United States, however the original producer McVities still produces the biscuit in the UK.

Chips and French friesEdit

In Ireland and the UK, deep fried potato sticks or "french fries" are called "fries", while "chips" are thicker potato sticks which can be deep fried or oven baked.

Apple juice, cider and hard ciderEdit

In America, fermented apple juice is called "hard cider". "Apple cider" refers to unfiltered (un-fermented) apple juice, typically pasteurized to make it shelf-stable. In New England and parts of Canada, "fresh cider" or sweet cider refers to fresh pressed apple juice; this is unlike any commercial product, and can be found at farm stands and orchards.

American cider (both fresh and hard) is sometimes also made from pears. This is referred to as "pear cider," and is equivalent to perry.

See alsoEdit