The names of certain foods sometimes flummox us: surely baking powder and baking soda must be the same? And what about macaroons and macarons? Actually, these are different. Here’s a brief guide:
Musli and muesli
Muesli is a breakfast cereal of rolled oats, broken wheat, cornflakes, dry-fruits, seeds, and nuts.
Musli (or safed musli) is a herb, which is sometimes used as an aphrodisiac.
Pastry, patty and Pâté
In the Indian context, a patty is a baked wheat-flour snack stuffed with meat or vegetables.
Pastry is wheat flour dough with added water and shortening agents, baked into sweet or savoury delights.
In India, we usually call a savoury pastry with a filling a patty, and pastry a small cake.
However, any food that is minced, mashed or ground, shaped into a ball and flattened, and then fried or baked and eaten in a bun like a burger is actually a patty.
Pâté is minced meat with added fat that gives it a spreadable texture.
Raw sugar and brown sugar
Raw sugar is sugarcane processed to the point at which it becomes a golden crystal with a mild caramel flavour.
Brown sugar adds molasses (a by-product of sugarcane processing) to white sugar crystals.
Cilantro and coriander
In India, coriander refers to coriander seeds and coriander leaves.
Cilantro is the word Americans use to refer only to the leaf of the coriander plant.
Macarons and Macaroons
Macarons are meringue-based, made with almond paste, egg whites and sugar.
Macaroon is a dense sweet made with coconut, egg white and sugar.
Cacao and Cocoa
Cacao is the raw cocoa bean.
Cocoa is the processed, cleaned and roasted bean.
Baking powder and baking soda
Baking soda is a compound called bicarbonate of soda.
Baking powder is a combination of cornstarch, baking soda and cream of tartar.
It’s a fish called bombil; nothing to do with ducks!
Welsh rabbit (or Welsh rarebit)
This is merely a kind of cheese sauce on toast.
Pepperoni is pork salami. So pepperoni pizza will have pork and not pepper.
From HT Brunch, July 3, 2016
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