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Old 08-15-2005, 12:25 PM   #1
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Cooking Puzzle

http://www.pastrywiz.com/conversion.htm

Heres a conversion chart. Interestingly, Canadian and Australian measurements differ. How the heck is THAT possible when we both use metric?

Anyone out there have an answer for this?

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Old 08-15-2005, 01:12 PM   #2
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Just looking at that chart, Alix - I think it's the cup measurement that would appear to be different in the table - but do Aussies use 'cups'? I've cooked when I've visited family over there, but using my recipes and my sister's UK type scales - no need to use cups!
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:22 PM   #3
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The answer is that the chart is screwed up. You can see significant errors in the calculations for different sizes in the columns.

On the Canadian side, a tsp = 5 ml and a Tb = 15 ml That makes sense. On the Australian side, a Tb is = 20 ml (4 tsp not 3). Then when they go from a Tb to a 1/4 cup they can't multiply correctly. Using 4 Tb to a 1/4 cup, Canada multiplies 15 times 4 and gets 50 rather than 60. Australia multiplies 20 times 4 and get 60 not 80.

It's not that the 2 countries use different metric systems, it's that someone who created the chart is math challanged.

The correct answers are:

1 tsp = 5 ml (rounded)
1 Tb = 15 ml (rounded)
1/4 C = 59 ml (rounded)

The moral of the story is: Don't assume it must be true just because someone put it on a website. Website creators can't get spelling, punctuation and grammar correct, let's not assume they can "do the math".
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:09 PM   #4
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At first I was going to agree with Andy without reservation ... but .... things are sometimes "legislated" and aren't really what they "should" be by common wisdom. Remember, it was Congress in 1893 that "legislated" that the tomato was a vegetable, no longer a fruit. While I agree that some of the numbers just don't make sense mathematically - they might be a result of the guys who run the "Weights and Measures" bureaus in different countries "assigning" a value to a specific unit of measure.

Let me introduce everyone to one of my favorite sites: http://www.onlineconversion.com - How Convert Just About Anything to Anything.

1 Cup [metric] = 250 ml
1 Cup [US] = 236.59 ml
1 Cup [Canada] = 227.3 ml

While the rest of the would may have agreed that 3 5 ml teaspoons makes 1 15 ml tablespoon - it seems Australia has defined the tablespoon differently.

The thing I wish the site Alix posted had included, and a couple of other sites that have the same conversion charts for US-Canadian-Australian measurements, is the SI Metric equivalents. The curious thing about the conversion site I posted above is that some things are specific to Canadian and some for UK measurements (none listed for Australian).

It's most curious and I am sure someone could find a definative answer if they wanted to spend several days researching these anomalies in the weights and measures sanctioned by each country. I'm just not that curious.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
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The site is correct. An Australian tablespoon is 20ml. I have a Canadian flatmate and she has a cookbook from some restaraunt/cafe called Rebar, boy were those ingredient lists throwing me off o_O.

Ahh just realised that any recipe I got off discusscooking now has different tablespoon measures, well heres hoping no recipe requires a 'tablespoon of baking powder/baking soda', or I realise its from discusscooking.

Sometimes people can do the math :P.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:30 PM   #6
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The metric system is so sensible, with everything in multiples of 10, but I've been raised using the other system, and just don't think "that way".
A couple of years ago I ordered a very cool conversion table from a catalogue called "Solutions". It is stainless steel and magnetic, and I have it attached to the side of my microwave. Very handy. Also good for multiplying recipes, as it tells how many tsps per tbl, per cup....etc.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:37 PM   #7
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I haven't checked the site, but I agree with Haggis that Australia and Britain both have tablespoons which are equivalent to 4 teaspoons. We also have dessertspoons, which are equivalent to 2 teaspoons (half a tablespoon).

I never bother about the difference when measuring.

What does bother me is that conversion sites don't take into account the 'rounding' factor. Who's going to measure out 3.12345 grams of something, for heaven's sake?!? This might be very satisfactory for a mathematician, but for a cook, it's a right PITA, so it just becomes 3 grams, OK? So one ounce translates to 28 point something grams. It's rounded to 30 for convenience.

I was brought up on Imperial measurements, but for 40 years I've been accustomed to metric, and I'm comfortable with both, and for commonly used measurements, I have no difficulty with conversions. Of the two, metric is BY FAR easier to deal with. It is my dream, much like that of Martin Luther King, that one day America will catch up with the rest of the world and go metric!! It would make life much easier for them, as well as for everybody else. For one thing, we wouldn't have to bother with confusing and conflicting conversion tables.

A cup is still a cup. A measuring cup, that is!
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:34 PM   #8
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Wow. OK, I totally didn't realize that in the UK and Australia a tbsp was 4 tsps. THAT might make a bit of difference in some recipes. WEIRD! Wonder why that changed in Canada?

Metric would definitely make life easier. At least then when a recipe says 15 or 20 mls we would know what to do.

Thanks for all the information folks.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:17 AM   #9
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That's why I often state that my recipes are in Imperial measurements - the US gallon is different to our - and I think the US pint is different, too.... I knew about the spoon measurements being different because I once used a recipe that a dear American friend who lives in WV sent me.... DISASTER.....

You can tell the age of my recipes by whether they are shown in Imperial or metric!
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Wow. OK, I totally didn't realize that in the UK and Australia a tbsp was 4 tsps. THAT might make a bit of difference in some recipes. WEIRD! Wonder why that changed in Canada?

Metric would definitely make life easier. At least then when a recipe says 15 or 20 mls we would know what to do.

Thanks for all the information folks.
Just goes to show you Alix, you guys have been ripped off for years. Might have something to do with all that snow up there - keeps shrinking things....

I've got a set of old measures marked in fluid ounces,

1 cup = 8 fl ozs. etc

They are made from tinned copper.

Now I don't know whether they are US fl ozs or imperial fl ozs.
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