Yesterday I compromised: British baking recipe (ginger cake with clementine (orig. AmE) frosting), American main course (chicken and dumplings). Since it's hard to get shortening (tip for American expats: Trex or white Flora are the closest things to Crisco--look for them next to the margarine) and lots of other baking-type products, it seemed like the British cake was the safer way to go. But the first ingredient on the chicken recipe brought home the fact that no recipe is safe from trans-Atlantic opacity. It called for a fryer. This is AmE for 'a chicken suitable for frying' (OED), but what it really means is a 'a small chicken'. Larger are broilers and larger still are roasters. Now, I don't know off-hand how big any of these chickens are supposed to be, as in the US, I'd just go to the supermarket and buy the one label(l)ed 'fryer'. So, I have to add a bit to the recipe:
- Preheat wireless modem to 24 Mbps.
- Google 'fryer chicken lbs'
- Translate pounds to kilograms
- Log on to internet grocer
- Order 1.5 kg chicken
how do American names for different cuts of steak translate into English names?"They don't always translate" is the answer to this question. It's not that the cuts of beef have different names in the two places, it's that they are different cuts of meat. Here's the picture of British beef cuts from Wikipedia:
And here's the American:
Then, once you get into particular cuts of steak, there is plenty of room for other differences. I've not found a good source on UK versus US on this, and it's my impression that AmE just has a lot more words for steak types. Here's a helpful guide from someone on answers.com (with the misspellings corrected and all AmE terms in bold):
... rib steak which has bone in or rib eye which is boneless, same cut of meat different name because of bone removed. very good with lots of marble. porterhouse from the hind half with bone in and tenderloin on other side of bone, take bone out and it's a new york strip, t-bone [orig. AmE, now used in BrE too--ed.] same but smaller tenderloin. tenderloin itself lies right under the back bone as is the most tender steak on the cow, because there is no movement of any part of it, therefore it lies there doing nothing, all 3 are very good. sirloin comes from the hip and is the most unpredictable piece of meat, sometimes very tender other times not,it is right above the rump section.We've discussed the pronunciation of fil(l)et here before, but another one to mention is that in BrE one sees fillet steak on menus, but in AmE one tends to see filet mignon as a rough equivalent.
Meanwhile, on the pig:
And the British ones:
I've already discussed bacon briefly elsewhere. The other main pork difference that I can think of is gammon, a word I'd never heard in English until moving to the UK. According to someone else at answers.com (again, spelling is corrected):
[Ham and gammon] are both pork but ham is usually a leg of pork that has been aged, cured, smoked or cooked. Usually in the UK, its wet cured in a brine (salt) solution, then it's cooked. Gammon is the hind leg cut from a side of bacon, so it's cured (again in brine) but it's not cooked before you get it.Basically, if you're served a roasted ham in the UK, they call it gammon, as far as I can tell.
And that's what I can tell you about meat. My education in such things has been curtailed by Better Half's vegetarianism. I am ardently plotting my next opportunity to lure friends and acquaintances into our home on the pretext of entertaining them, but with the true motive of cooking meat for myself.