Tuesday 5 March 2013

Bloody, bloody, bloody cups! A rant.

Dear God it's infuriating. You're trawling for recipes on the web and at least half of them are on American sites. Nothing at all wrong with that. Well, yes there usually is. The US still uses a volumetric measuring system. Cups. I hate cups. I loathe volumetric measuring systems. What's wrong with weight? I have a scales and a container, why introduce another system of measurement?

Utterly ghastly

Cups brings to mind some 1950s American housewife in with apron and rolling pin, fixin' dinner. No money for new fangled scales, let's just do with a scoop of this and and half scoop of that, which is probably fine if you're making a stew but not if you're baking. We need precision in baking, more so in sugar work and confectionary. What if your flour has settled... or not? What if it's grade OO and much finer? And it gets worse: calls for a 'stick' of butter. You know why? Because measuring a cup of butter (or peanut butter or lard) is a right arse of a job. And then there's nuts and chocolate and sticky stuff like honey, maple syrup and molasses, which means you have to wash your bloody cups out and inevitably loose some substance. What next - pecks and bushels? A what!? Just tell me what it weighs. Oh, it sucks. At the very least, couldn't hokey US websites acknowledge the rest of the world and display metric too? At least with metric and imperial you only need one conversion table, with cups you need a different table for EVERY SINGLE ingredient. Apparently it was completely unregulated, with talk of walnut size pieces of this and that, before someone called Fanny Farmer came about and rocked their world with her devil-talk of level, regulated cups. Fanny Farmer! Jeez-a-loo.

And just for balance, I don't like teaspoons or tablespoons either... nor fluid oz or litres. It's too imprecise. Just tell me the weight. I don't want to have to be getting jugs out and squinting at the side. And I certainly don't want to be banging cups.


  1. More here. http://justhungry.com/american-kitchens-why-cups-and-not-weight-wheres-kitchen-scale

  2. I'm with you, Jason, and I'm American!

  3. Greetings from Yorkshire. I'm with you for dry weights above about 20g; but when building my own recipes (or fine tuning those I've "borrowed", I still find a use for a set of standard (5ml) teaspoons for measuring delicate quantities of spices etc (and I also have a half teaspoon and a quarter teaspoon - handy if you are regulating the amount of chilli powder you're putting in tonight's dinner).

  4. And now, Australian metric cups...