Weights and Measures - Metric/Imperial/US
Thread poster: Sheila Hardie

Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
Spain
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Mar 3, 2003

I am trying to localise a translation of different recipes and have to convert the metric values into the British (Imperial) and US systems. There is a lot of information online but I am becoming quite confused with the US system (I\'m Scottish, so I am not used to working with cups!). I mean a cup of sugar does not weigh as much as a cup of flour or a cup of yoghurt, does it? And what do you do with lettuce - I mean apart from eating it) Do you give it in oz or cups?! Does anyone know of a good, comprehensive website or conversion table I can consult. I have already looked at loads, but am still confused!



Many thanks in advance,



Sheila

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-03 11:43]


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
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Cups aren't measures of weight! Mar 3, 2003

This is the basic problem .. a cup is essentially a unit of volume, not one of weight. So the conversions are a little hazy! Can you convert into ounces instead?



Here\'s one site I found:



http://www.goodeatsoftexas.com/equivalents.html



HTH



Mary


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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
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Thanks, Mary Mar 3, 2003

Thanks, Mary. Well, the client wants the US system as well as the British one and, apparently, the Americans use cups to measure just about everything My question is - how big is their cup?)



In any case, I have converted everything into oz, fl oz, pints etc. but am not sure whether US or Canadian (do they use the metric system??) readers will understand this and not require any cups etc. to be involved. Could anyone from the US confirm this please?



Many thanks in advance



Sheila

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-03 11:59]


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Sara Freitas
France
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www.onlineconversion.com Mar 3, 2003

Try this site. There are also some funny features, like converting your age to dog years, etc.
[addsig]


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Sara Freitas
France
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1 US cup = 250 ml Mar 3, 2003

according to my own set of measuring cups!!

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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
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Where I get REALLY confused... Mar 3, 2003

Is when I find out the 1 cup of grated Parmesan is NOT equal in weight to 1 cup of grated Cheddar (see reference below). Naturally, they are different densities. However, this means I have to analyse every single ingredient and decide how many grams/oz are equal to 1 cup in each case. It is truly mind-boggling!!! Why can\'t everyone just use the metric system?) It would certainly make MY life a lot easier!!!



Ta,



Sheila





http://www.hintsandthings.co.uk/kitchen/weights.htm

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-03 12:04]


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 05:35
French to English
Problem is weight vs. volume Mar 3, 2003

What you need are some cooking equivalents (in the back of a comprehensive cookbook or on the internet). They will tell you the volume equivalents of common ingredients. Or one of those handy measuring cups with lines for different levels/weights of flour, sugar, rice, etc.



Good luck!


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 05:35
French to English
A good cooking resource Mar 3, 2003

You might start here:



http://www.zeal.com/category/preview.jhtml?cid=1148044



HTH


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PAS  Identity Verified
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cooking is an art, not a science Mar 3, 2003

Is the conversion from cups to grams a requirement from the client, or your own?

I don\'t believe you should convert cups to anything. A cup of sugar is a cup of sugar.

The same goes for teaspoons, tablespoons, pinches etc. I see this in American, Canadian, Polish and Italian cookbooks (i.e. the ones I own).



An anecdote: sugar in Poland is less refined (cleaned) than in Canada and thus sweeter. When attempting to follow a Polish cake recipe in Canada, my mother messed it up. It took us a while to realize that it was the quality of the ingredient, not its measure, that caused the problem.



If I had the freedom, I would indicate somewhere at the beginning that a cup is _roughly_ 250 mL, a teaspoon is _roughly_ 5 mL etc. and leave it there.



As for lettuce, the usual unit of measure is a head - \"take a medium-sized head of lettuce...\"



But perhaps this is my own bent on things. When I buy cold cuts at my local store, I always ask for \"10 slices\", not for a specific weight...



HTH

Pawel Skalinski





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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
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It's the client's request Mar 3, 2003

\"Is the conversion from cups to grams a requirement from the client, or your own?

I don\'t believe you should convert cups to anything. A cup of sugar is a cup of sugar.

The same goes for teaspoons, tablespoons, pinches etc. I see this in American, Canadian, Polish and Italian cookbooks (i.e. the ones I own). \"





It\'s the client\'s request - not mine. If I had my way, I\'d leave it all in the metric system - it\'d make my life FAR easier



Sheila





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yeswhere
Local time: 23:35
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a matter of convenience Mar 3, 2003

As a Brit spending a lot of time across the Pond I was also confused at first with the \'cup\' measure. The cups in my locker were of various sizes. However, after acquiring a measuring jug (which has cups, ounces and metric markers) and set of measuring spoons, I was impressed by the simplicity of baking this way, especially living on a boat and having to bake bread, cakes, scones etc. on a regular basis. No need for cumbersome scales, which cuts down the \'clean up\' time (water conservation is important on passage) and even U.S. butter

has the measures marked on the packaging.

It doesn\'t matter that a cup of sugar does not weigh the same as a cup of flour, this has all been taken into account and is in proportion to the other ingredients in the recipe.

Try out the cup method when you next bake your Scottish Shortbread, assuming ALL the ingredients are converted into these measures. It is time-saving and much more convenient.











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xxxtazdog
Spain
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these may help... Mar 3, 2003

Hi Sheila,



Here are some links that I\'ve found useful in converting recipes. The first one has conversions for U.S. Standard to Australian, UK and Metric, as well as U.S. cups to grams (for selected ingredients)



Here\'s their introductory paragraph on conversions:



Most of us are aware that different measurement systems are used in different countries (such as Imperial, US Standard, and Metric), but many people may not know that different ways of measuring ingredients are also used. The most important difference one may encounter is whether dry ingredients are measured by weight (e.g. ounces, pounds, grams, kilograms) or by volume (e.g. tablespoons, cups, milliliters, liters). For example, cooks in the United States tend to measure all ingredients by volume, while it is common in Europe to measure dry ingredients by weight and liquid ingredients by volume. To make matters even more confusing, many countries use measuring devices with similar (and sometimes even identical) names, but which are actually different in size. For example, 1 cup has the following equivalents: U.S. = 237 milliliters, U.K. = 284 milliliters, and Australia = 250 milliliters.



http://www.allrecipes.com/cb/ref/convert/conversions.asp



The second link gives you conversions for cups, teaspons and tablespoons, including conversions for specific ingredients (e.g., how many grams are in a cup of flour or a cup of sugar).



http://www.inventorscolony.com/mr/CUPS.htm



Hope you find these useful. If there\'s anything I might be able to help you with, feel free to drop me an e-mail.



Cheers

Cindy



PS - Most if not all American recipes use cups, tablespoons and teaspoons, and I think it would be better to stick to these units to make sure an American audience understands it.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-03 14:45]


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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
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How long is a piece of string? Mar 6, 2003

Thank you all so much for your helpful advice.





I am still battling away with these conversions - great fun



I greatly appreciate all your suggestions and useful links. Why can\'t someone just tell the USA they should start using the metric system?) Maybe I should write to President Bush...



Anyway, this cup measuring business is driving me mad.



How long is a piece of string anyway???



And how big is a cup??





Sheila





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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
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weight, volume and the rest Mar 7, 2003

My mother-in-law had this problem when she came from Yugoslavia to the USA. All her cookbooks and recipes were in metric, everything here used cups and teaspoons. She just about went crazy until we bought a metric scale. She passed away 5 years ago, but that scale is still hanging on the wall, gathering dust (\"Just in case,\" says my wife.).



Of course, you COULD convince your client that all the USA recipes should first be tested with the new converted measurements. If you need volunteers to test the results, I volunteer!



As far as the USA going metric: We tried that in the mid-70s (under Carter). It did not take although I can still find roadsigns in California that give distances in both miles and km. We see them and think, how quaint.



Once it becomes economically mandatory for the USA to change, it will. Until then, it won\'t. (Money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round.)



Have fun. I did not have to translate my mother-in-laws cookbooks. It was hard enough figuring out what the temperature on the oven should be!


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