Cooking School – Cooking Terms

By / Food / April 21st, 2009 / 1

Have you ever followed a recipe only to run into a cooking term that you don’t understand? Between multiple names for an ingredient or an unknown technique, cooking is fraught with potential pitfalls. Luckily, Tidings has you covered. Here is a list of some oft-misunderstood terms.

Crème Fraîche – Pronounced “krem fresh”, it’s French for “fresh cream”. It’s made by adding bacterial culture to cream which sours it. The end result is similar to sour cream, but it’s less sour and has a thicker consistency. Making your own is very easy and ensures that you always have a creamy treat on hand to spoon over your favourite dessert.

Curry – This is actually a term that describes a spice mixture that can change depending on individual taste and culture.

Fromage Frais – aka fresh cheese, unripened cheese or curd cheese. Examples are cream cheese, ricotta or cottage cheese. Fresh cheese tends to be bland, so herbs, wine and fruit are often added to enhance it.

Heavy Cream – This is 35% cream, aka whipping cream. It contains a minimum of 30% milk fat, and can be whipped until it’s doubled in volume and becomes thick and fluffy. If you keep whipping it, you’ll be well on your way to making butter. Light cream, which sounds like an oxymoron, is what we call table cream (18%).

Knob – This is a British term that’s usually used to describe an amount of butter. A knob is equal to about 3/4 of a tablespoon.

Pat – Like a knob, a pat is a measurement that refers to butter. It’s equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of butter.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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