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Grilling in the broiler…

There are a lot of words in American English that have confused me at one time or another, cilantro being the first mystery I had to solve. With all this Mexican food, surely they must have coriander! Luckily I now have coriander planted outdoors so I won’t have to go looking for cilantro anymore.


They also like to eat eggplant (aubergine), zucchini (courgette) and snow peas (mangetout) in the US. Apparently the eggplant got its name from the mostly smaller white and yellow varieties of this vegetable that resembled goose eggs. The British however took the word aubergine straight from the French (along with courgette and mangetout) who in turn took it from the Arabs (al badinjan), who took it from the Persians (badenjan)…

The Americans took zucchini from the Italians and snow peas came from China although the name remains a mystery.

Enough about vegetables…

Another one that goes wrong on occasion is the chip versus the fry. As a Dutch person I should be getting this right since fries (friet) are the same things at home as they are in the US and chips, which we pronounce ‘sjips’, are also the crispy ones you snack on. However the Irish corrupted my interpretation of these words by making me buy chips in the chipper and making me love eating a fry for breakfast. They do however get it right with ‘crisps’ for obvious reasons.

Then biscuits are cookies in the US until you go to the Southern States, where they turn into beautiful scones. And if you need some crackers to go with your cheese (thank god they use the same word for cheese), ask for biscuits.

As much as I love these different names and their origins, there is one word that I find a little irritating, which is broiling, a word I had never heard before moving to the US, even though apparently its origin lies in a mix of Old French (bruir, meaning to burn) and Latin (usler, meaning to scorch).

So the broiler is basically what I have up till now been calling the grill, which has heat coming from the top. Here they explain the broiler as follows: Think of your broiler as an upside-down grill”. Confused yet?

Grilling in the US means the food is cooked over the heat source rather than under. That would be frying right? Unless it’s on the BBQ…

So to recap, a ‘grilled cheese sandwich’ is broiled in the UK and Ireland, but grilled in the US…

I need a drink…




2 Responses to Grilling in the broiler…

  1. Enormous May 22, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Love it! What really gets my goat is the measurements: how unappetising does a stick of butter sound?

    • peanut May 22, 2014 at 9:04 am #

      Haha good one! I will collect some more of these for another post!

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