Metric Recipes

Many recipe writers in the United States print exact metric equivalents in their recipes. As a result, you will see recipes calling for 454 grams of potatoes, 28.35 grams of butter, or a baking temperature of 191°C.No wonder many Americans are afraid of the metric system!

Kitchens in countries that use the metric system do not work with such impractical numbers, any more than cooks in the United States normally use figures like 1 lb 114 oz potatoes, 2.19 oz butter, or a baking temperature of 348°F. That would defeat the purpose of the metric system, which is to be simple and practical. If you have a chance to look at a French cookbook, you will see nice, even numbers like 1 kg, 200 g, and 4 dL. (Note that the metric abbreviations used in this book are consistent with common usage in Canada.Abbreviations used in Europe are somewhat different, such as lowercase l instead of uppercase L for liter.)

The metric equivalents in the recipes in this book are rounded off.What's more, they are not always rounded off in the same way. In some places, you may see 1 pound rounded off to 500 grams, in other places to 450 grams.The object is to keep the proportions and the total yield as close as possible while arriving at practical measurements. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to keep the proportions exactly the same because the U.S. system is not decimal-based like the metric system. In some cases, the metric quantities may produce slightly different results due to these varying propor-tions,but these differences are small.If you have U.S.equipment,use the U.S.units,and if you have metric equipment, use the metric units.You should rarely have to worry about converting between the two.

Table 5.4

Metric Units

Basic Units

Quantity

Unit

Abbreviation

weight

gram

g

volume

liter

L

length

meter

m

temperature

degree Celsius

°C

Divisions and Multiples

Prefix/Example

Meaning

Abbreviation

kilo-

1,000

k

kilogram

1,000 grams

kg

deci-

V10

d

deciliter

0.1 liter

dL

centi-

1100

c

centimeter

0.01 meter

cm

milli-

1/1,000

m

millimeter

0.001 meter

mm

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