# Wayyyyy OT: European measurements

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,

I have a (baking) recipe that I am trying to decipher.
<sheepish grin>

Originally in Italian so all the measurement units are
European. Weights and liquid measures are easy to
translate.

*But*, some things tend to be "packaged" differently.

Point in question, what's a "package of vanilla"?
I'm guessing probably ~25mL liquid volume. But, I
have no idea if vanilla is used as dried *beans*
or *extract*, etc. (nor if that 25mL is even the
right figure!)

Could someone on the other side of the pond clarify
this? Also, if this is vanilla *extract*, is it
safe to assume it is cut with alcohol? And, if so,
what percent, by volume (obviously, getting the
right amount of flavoring is critical :> )

I chuckle as I once was on the other side of this
problem -- gave a european friend a recipe which
had baker's chocolate measured in units of "squares".
She later complained that the Rx turned out *horribly*...
then asked me what a "square" was :-/

Thanks!
--don

S

#### Spehro Pefhany

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,

I have a (baking) recipe that I am trying to decipher.
<sheepish grin>

Originally in Italian so all the measurement units are
European. Weights and liquid measures are easy to
translate.

*But*, some things tend to be "packaged" differently.

Point in question, what's a "package of vanilla"?
I'm guessing probably ~25mL liquid volume. But, I
have no idea if vanilla is used as dried *beans*
or *extract*, etc. (nor if that 25mL is even the
right figure!)

There's also "vanilla sugar"-- mostly sugar with
vanilla flavor.

O

#### OBones

Jan 1, 1970
0
D said:
Hi,

I have a (baking) recipe that I am trying to decipher.
<sheepish grin>

Originally in Italian so all the measurement units are
European. Weights and liquid measures are easy to
translate.

*But*, some things tend to be "packaged" differently.

Point in question, what's a "package of vanilla"?
I'm guessing probably ~25mL liquid volume. But, I
have no idea if vanilla is used as dried *beans*
or *extract*, etc. (nor if that 25mL is even the
right figure!)

If it's the same as in France, which I suspect it is, then you would be
looking a this:

Vanilla flavored sugar in a package, that is about 7.5g
Don't know if you have that in the US though.

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Spehro,

Grrrr.... s/25/15/g

(though I would have thought 10mL a better "intensity" :< )
There's also "vanilla sugar"-- mostly sugar with
vanilla flavor.

Hmmm... is this how vanilla is typically introduced to a Rx?
I.e., do they not use (liquid) vanilla extract?

I would assume it would be harder to control the sweetness
if you had to introduce sugar every time you introduced a certain
amount of vanilla flavor (e.g., using extract, the alcohol
boils off).

And, this still leaves the question of how to equate
that to "liquid measure" :<

(sigh) I guess I'll just have to plan one interation
just to get the flavoring right and then work on the
rest of the Rx from there...

<frown>

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
OBones said:
If it's the same as in France, which I suspect it is, then you would be
looking a this:

Vanilla flavored sugar in a package, that is about 7.5g

I assume that's primarily the weight of the *sugar*. (1.5t?)

The question is then, how much vanilla to add to 7.5G of sugar
to get the same "flavor" :<
Don't know if you have that in the US though.

I suspect I could probably find it. But, I'd want to
come up with a more "portable" recipe, anyway, so that
would just give me something to compare (empirically)
against (way too much effort there! :> )

I'll try to make some estimates based on the proportions
that *I* tend to use (e.g., this much flour, egg, butter,
sugar suggest *that* much vanilla...) and tweek it until
it seems right.

Thanks!

N

#### Nico Coesel

Jan 1, 1970
0
D Yuniskis said:
Hi,

I have a (baking) recipe that I am trying to decipher.
<sheepish grin>

Originally in Italian so all the measurement units are
European. Weights and liquid measures are easy to
translate.

*But*, some things tend to be "packaged" differently.

Point in question, what's a "package of vanilla"?
I'm guessing probably ~25mL liquid volume. But, I
have no idea if vanilla is used as dried *beans*
or *extract*, etc. (nor if that 25mL is even the
right figure!)

Could someone on the other side of the pond clarify
this? Also, if this is vanilla *extract*, is it
safe to assume it is cut with alcohol? And, if so,
what percent, by volume (obviously, getting the
right amount of flavoring is critical :> )

Like others said vanilla flavoured sugar is common here. IMHO getting
recipes right is a matter of trial and error. If this is some kind of
pie than it will probably take several times to get it right. Enough
chances to experiment with the amount of vanilla.

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Nico,

Nico said:
Like others said vanilla flavoured sugar is common here. IMHO getting

So, is it used in lieu of vanilla extract? I.e., possibly
as a more subtle flavor?
recipes right is a matter of trial and error. If this is some kind of
pie than it will probably take several times to get it right. Enough
chances to experiment with the amount of vanilla.

Biscotti. Pie would be easier! :> (I don't want to end up
with 100 pounds of "not-quite-right" biscotti (which will
need to be, um, "disposed of") before I get things right! :>

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Michael,
That sounds like a mighty flimsy excuse to me! ;-)

Actually, I'm not fond of "sweets" (despite all the baking that
I do -- biscotti coming out of the oven in 18 minutes; brownies
go in after that).

However, the biscotti in question I *will* indulge in!
(once I get the Rx correct) *Then* my postage expenses
will increase dramatically :-/

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:
Hang loose until tomorrow. I'll ask the wife. She has bookshelves of
Italian cookbooks.

I think most italian cookbooks are written with units of measure
already "converted". Unless it's *in* Italian -- in which case,
there might be an explanation of the *types* of ingredients
common to "most Rx's" but probably not specifics of how they
relate to "real world" units.

(most of the Italians I know measure with their fingertips :> )

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:
Of course. Most recipes are really ratiometric. Tomorrow, Giada's
recipe

Largely so -- though flavorings tend to see lots of bias.
E.g., there is *a* shop here that makes this particular
type of biscotti. But, they are very heavy on the
vanilla flavor -- makingthem completely inedible
(IMO -- which, of course, is the only one that matters to *me*!).

It's been 30+ years since I've had any so I will be able to
tailor the flavor to what *I* think is most appropriate
(I suspect that if I were to buy some from the original
bakery "back East" I would find them less than ideal -- so
my efforts are still worthwhile).

Just the wrong time of year to be experimenting in the kitchen.
<frown> (Murphy, however, seems to always conspire to make
things so :-/ )

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Michael,
And a big pressure cooker? I hear that most Italians are tough and
stringy. ;-)

Naw, you just have to cook them in a slow oven to get
them nice and juicy!

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:

That's what americans call "biscotti". The ones I made last
night are similar in theory -- though much plainer (nothing
who's having some heart problems so extra fats are off the
list -- else I would have made a nice, rich coffee cake!) and
*lots* of amaretto (we go through a little over a gallon of
amaretto yearly).

"Biscotti" covers a wide range of baked goods -- i.e., "cookie".

The biscotti I am attempting to make are much larger than
the "Biscotti" you tend to think of with coffee (or vin rose).
These are ~4 per pound. I.e., a 5 pound batch is where
you *start* the Rx. By comparison, the batch of "twice baked
biscotti" I made last night was probably only 2 or 3 pounds
*total* (two loaves, 12 biscotti per loaf so maybe 10+ per pound)

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Michael,
The only time I have a sweet tooth, is when a tooth is infected.

Ouch! :<

I have to start rehashing some of my Rx's to try to replace the
sugar with something artificial (or "natural" alternatives).
Too many friends have "sugar problems" which makes baking
more problematic. (I ave Rx's that avoid fats but avoiding
*sugar* is tough! :> )

I've managed to figure out how to make ice cream with Splenda
(though I suspect that may be worse than sugar! :> ) but
it is a lot of work trying to keep the texture right. Doing
something like that with baked goods will probably be more
challenging -- since you have to figure out how to do it
*differently* for each Rx (whereas once you can make *one*
type of ice cream, you can pretty much make them all!).

I'll try to fix my gelato Rx next as it should be similar
to the ice cream approach.
Wouldn't it be cheaper to fly? ;-)

(sigh) *If* I can sort this out, I'll make a trip home and
spend a few days baking. Easier than shipping the stuff
cross country (especially this time of year as humidty
levels rise).

As a kid, we would buy ~100 pounds at a time (fill the
trunk of a *real* "full size car") and dole them out
to family (10+ pounds each). Always seemed like they

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:
Frozen Yogurt makes a nice replacement for ice cream.

I don't like yogurt. :> And, I like my ice cream *really*
rich. E.g., heavy cream (I think it comes out being about
50 (or 100?) calories per tablespoon. My butter pecan has
a *stick* of butter in a quart of ice cream (you can
hear your heart struggling while you eat it :< )
I avoid anything "artificially favored/sweetened". A friend died from
liver cancer at around age 50... he drank several liters of Diet Pepsi
_every_ day. I've always been suspicious.

I think the stuff in Diet Pesi has been linked to prostate
problems? (I can't keep track of the different sweeteners
that these people use)

I think all of the artificial sweeteners have "undocumented
problems". :< I've been experimenting with Stevia lately
but it has a taste of its own that is hard to mask -- so
it's a bad choice for things like ice cream.

All of them seem to have problems as sugar *replacements*.
They don't have the same bulk (?) that sugar has so the
textures always end up "wrong"...

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:
My consumption rule is simple... if my grandmothers didn't eat it or
cook with it I avoid it.

I suspect I cook a lot healthier than my (maternal) grandparents.
E.g., grandpa used to put pig's feet in the ("spaghetti") sauce.
And, they didn't think twice about using lard in some dishes,
shortening in others, etc. :<
So I eat lots of butter and olive oil.

We probably go through a gallon of olive oil a month. Avoid
fats (on meat). We use a pound of butter a week (on average)
but most of that ends up in baked goods ("Ah, I guess that
makes it "OK", then?" :> "Yes, actually, it does! Cuz we
don't eat those baked goods!" :> )

Lunch is "The Pork Dish", today (pseudo-oriental pork meal
that we try to eat every Sunday).
I don't do the pork fat thing,
but my father thrived on it and lived in good health until age 90.

I've no idea re: family history so try to err on the side
of "better safe than sorry" (within reason, of course! :>).
Of course, I could get hit by a bus this afternoon... :-/

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Rich,
...
I have to start rehashing some of my Rx's to try to replace the
sugar with something artificial (or "natural" alternatives).

Oh, ick! There's nothing wrong with real sugar. Heck, back when I was
in elem. school,[1] our breakfast consisted of about 50% by
weight of white, refined sugar.
Sugar on the Wheaties, sugar on the grapefruit, sugar on the tomato
slice; Sugar
Smacks, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Corn Pops,Sugar Frosted Flakes ("They're
GRRRREAT!!"), etc. When we got to school, we were ENERGIZED! >:->

And our generation turned out OK, except for the liberals and
conservatives. ;-)
[1] back when you had to walk 10 miles uphill both ways through 20 ft.
of snow...

You must have lived in downtown ORLANDO (Fla!). *We* had to
*crawl* 12,000 feet up a vertical face (both ways!) in blinding
snow, basketball sized hail, 84 MPH wind gusts, sub zero
temperatures... *barefoot*!

*AND*, we had to bring our own bowls!!! :>

<grin>

Actually, it is alarming how many people have "sugar problems".
Makes you (me) look at what you (I) eat and wonder, "This
*looks* OK, so what's the problem these *other* folks are
having???"

(apparently, this is really a nasty "condition"/disease.
I know two folks who wear insulin pumps. Several who
take meds -- gila monster juice, etc. Of course, very
*few* of them watch their diet, exercise, etc. <frown>)

And, there's no real incentive to *fix* the problem as
it's a huge market for medications, therapies, test
supplies, etc. (sort of like ulcers from generations past)

I always chuckled at The Cardiologist's Diet: If it tastes
good, SPIT IT OUT! :>

D

#### D Yuniskis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

Jim said:
I have a random screen pop-up... "Just eat HALF!" ;-)

Ah, I show *no* discipline when it comes to ice cream. :<
I scoop it out of the dasher and, two hours later, it's
*gone*! Often before it's managed to firm up completely.

Curiously, if I eat *lots* of ice cream, I actually *lose*
weight. I suspect that means my body is overwhelmed by
it and just pushes it through :-(

(of course, in these times, I'll eat *only* ice cream so
that might be a big part of the, ahem, "problem" ? )

K

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi Jim,

I don't like yogurt. :> And, I like my ice cream *really*
rich. E.g., heavy cream (I think it comes out being about
50 (or 100?) calories per tablespoon. My butter pecan has
a *stick* of butter in a quart of ice cream (you can
hear your heart struggling while you eat it :< )

Yuck. There is also "no sugar added" ice creams that are pretty good. They
still have a lot of sugar, but it's a lot less than commie ice cream.
I think the stuff in Diet Pesi has been linked to prostate
problems? (I can't keep track of the different sweeteners
that these people use)

Power lines and cell phones are "linked" to brain cancer, too.
I think all of the artificial sweeteners have "undocumented
problems". :< I've been experimenting with Stevia lately
but it has a taste of its own that is hard to mask -- so
it's a bad choice for things like ice cream.

All of them seem to have problems as sugar *replacements*.
They don't have the same bulk (?) that sugar has so the
textures always end up "wrong"...

Some of the sugar free chocolate isn't too bad. Don't eat too much though.
....or at least stay near a bathroom.

K

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Jim Thompson wrote:

On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:27:28 -0700, D Yuniskis
[snip]

All of them seem to have problems as sugar *replacements*.
They don't have the same bulk (?) that sugar has so the
textures always end up "wrong"...

I have a random screen pop-up... "Just eat HALF!" ;-)

Sure, but that's why you have two monitors...

The devil made me do it... my wife just brought me an ice cream bar

And you can blame each monitor for eating half.

Nah, he was looking at the other one.

K

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
...
I have to start rehashing some of my Rx's to try to replace the
sugar with something artificial (or "natural" alternatives).

Oh, ick! There's nothing wrong with real sugar. Heck, back when I was
in elem.
school,[1] our breakfast consisted of about 50% by weight of white,
refined sugar.
Sugar on the Wheaties, sugar on the grapefruit, sugar on the tomato
slice; Sugar
Smacks, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Corn Pops,Sugar Frosted Flakes ("They're
GRRRREAT!!"), etc. When we got to school, we were ENERGIZED! >:->

If you're diabetic there certainly is. If you're not, it may not be forever.

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