Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bosnian cooking measurements

Most American recipes use volume measures for ingredients--a cup, a tablespoon. Most European recipes use weight measurements (grams). Luckily for me--since I don't have a scale here--my new Bosnian cookbook also uses volume measurements.

This is our scale for now. 
But the measurements are all new to me. It measures ingredients in glasses, fincans, soupspoons, tablespoons, and coffeespoons. In the US, I could just go to the store and buy a set of standard-sized measuring spoons and cups. Not the case here. Cooks measure with the cups and spoons they use for eating.

To my surprise, comparing the mismatched cups and spoons in our house, I have discovered that they are perfectly consistent in size--all my mugs hold exactly the same amount of liquid, all my spoons hold the same amount.

With some detective work, I've figured out American equivalents for each measurement.

A "glass" is a full mug, or 1 American cup.

"Fincan" is the tiny little cup that you use for strong Turkish coffee. We don't drink coffee, so we don't have any fincans in our house, but when I use a 1/4 cup measure to replace "fincans," the recipes seem to turn fine.

A "soupspoon" is equivalent to an American "tablespoon."

A "tablespoon," confusingly, is equivalent to an American "teaspoon."

And a "coffeespoon" (the Turkish influence in Bosnia--coffee is the standard, rather than tea) is equivalent to an American 1/4 tsp. measure.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I read an interesting article by Alton Brown who noted that even in the US, though the standard teaspoon is 4.93ml (or ~5ml), depending on the company that makes them, the measuring spoons varied from 3.5ml to 7ml. So stick with your fincans, they are probably as accurate.