The US And England Will Never Agree On These Foods

To quote William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." To apply this quote to food may seem trivial, but it's not so far off. In reality, food names are human-made conventions and reflect changing opinions over time — an edible ethnoscience of sorts.

For decades, playful food banter has become a cross-Atlantic food fight maintaining a sibling rivalry between the U.S. and the U.K. A name is just a name until groups generate collective meanings and fascinating histories highlight human movement and modification. At its core, language is directly linked to one's own identity, which safeguards our capacity to fight for "french fries," "cookies," and "dessert" designations as if our lives depend on it. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the food names that the U.S. and England will never agree on.

Fries vs chips

Chips and fries have long divided U.S. and U.K. culinary viewpoints. While they are both delicious fried potato sticks, fries and chips are, in fact, slightly different. 

First, given the term "french fries," many assume France left a delightfully greasy footprint here in the U.S. Yet, Belgium would argue otherwise. Experts say the original "pomme frites" were a Belgian innovation. However, according to National Geographic, we cannot dismiss its French history, nor can we overlook Spain, which was the first known European country to procure South American potatoes. So why did the U.S. adopt the "french" in french fry? Thomas Jefferson introduced the fry to the U.S. after serving as American Minister to France, quite literally bringing "French" fries back from that nation.

The British "chip" is a little trickier to trace. For the most part, chips are shorter and thicker, resembling an American steak fry (via The Independent). Skinny fries are also a common term in England. The "skinny" doesn't refer to low-calorie french fries, but instead a skinnier cut, much like french fries in the U.S. Brits and Americans also eat chips and french fries differently. Americans reach for ketchup or maybe a house-made aioli. Instead, British chips often receive malt vinegar shakes and on occasion, mayonnaise too.

Chips vs crisps

While we're on the topic of chips, let's take a fried potato chip (or crisp) detour. On U.S. soil, the average American consumes large quantities of potato chips per year, which, considering light-as-air packaging, is an impressive feat. England follows suit, with pub owners keeping salt and vinegar chips stocked behind bars for peckish ale drinkers. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson can vouch for their popularity, claiming, "If it doesn't hurt the roof of your mouth, it's wrong" (via Mirror).

Potato chips have a highly debated history. While New York native and chef George Crum receives credit for its invention, British physician William Kitchiner most likely invented the first potato chip in 1822. That same year, Kitchiner released The Cook's Oracle, which included a fried potato shaving recipe. In 1829, the cookbook crossed the Atlantic, and only then did Crum step in to raise potato chip awareness up and down the East Coast (via BlackPast). 

While it's hard to say why the U.S. and England refer to this delightful treat differently, its snackability isn't under question anywhere. And despite likely potato chip roads leading back to Victorian England, Americans won't back down on "chip" precedent. Steadfast in our ways, we will never take on any other name — that is, until french fries show up.

Jell-O vs jelly

If an American approaches a Brit with peanut butter and jelly rhetoric, the conversation starts out very innocent. Halfway through, odd looks are exchanged, and proud PB&J fans are left confused and somewhat infuriated. How could the English think so little of the childhood favorite? Hopefully, both parties soon realize they are having two very different conversations and the tense discourse subsides.

A PB&J sandwich, in British terms, is a peanut butter and Jell-O sandwich to Americans. Without asserting too much judgment (maybe there are some Jell-O sandwich fans in the U.S., too), it would make sense that a peanut butter and Jell-O sandwich might not have the curb appeal of an American-style PB&J.

In England, jelly is typically called jam — the same fruit spread that covers buttery croissant interiors. "Jelly" refers to the sweet and colorful gelatin-based dessert. In the United States, we refer to jelly and jam as two different fruit-based spreads. Jelly is much smoother, lacking seeds or fruit pieces and with added pectin to thicken the concoction. Meanwhile, jam uses whole crushed fruit, leaving all seeds and fibers in the spread. In contrast, British "jam" refers to all fruit spreads.

Cookie vs biscuit

For those who flock to "The Great British Bakeoff's" charm, saying "biscuit" instead of "cookie" shouldn't come as a surprise. Regardless of terminology, England and the U.S. share indisputable cookie admiration. Per the Daily Mail, a 2020 poll revealed chocolate digestives are the most popular U.K. biscuit. Across the ocean, America's cookie obsession prefaced modern-day cult-like cookie followings from nationally recognized bakeries like Levain Bakery in NYC (via Food & Wine).

So, why do Americans call the hand-held treats cookies and not biscuits? Per Culinary Lore, Dutch colonial settlers brought traditional "koekjes" (little cakes) to Manhattan Island in the early 1600s. Eventually, colonists learned English, and after a few decades, koekjes became "cockies." Cookies followed soon after. British biscuits, meanwhile, have a very different etymology, instead emerging from the Old French word "bescuit," meaning "twice-cooked." The French got bescuit from Latin's "biscoquere," also meaning twice-cooked.

So, do biscuits and cookies taste exactly the same? According to Waterbridge Confectionary, a U.K. chocolate, biscuit, and sweets company, there are some characteristic differences. American cookies are usually denser, softer, and chunkier than their British counterparts, although crisper varieties still garner a cookie label. Keeping to twice-baked origins, traditional British biscuits are firmer and crisper, making them a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

Bar cookie vs traybake

Bar cookies are the perfect solution for those who can't be bothered to portion out cookie dough mounds or make adequate room to prevent cookie spreading. Brownies, blondies, lemon squares ... everything goes into one baking pan and comes out ready to slice and eat. According to Martha Stewart, a bar cookie is made from a stiff dough or batter that's then poured or pressed into a pan. Some come in single layers and others are double-layered. Some are fruit-based, while others lure snackers with melted chocolate and gooey caramel.

In the England, "tray bake" covers bar cookies and anything baked in a tray or tin (via Traybakes and More). Just like bar cookies, tray bakes salute easy assembly and swift clean-up. But the broad term extends to anything cooked in the tray bake's trademark pan, widening the category to include sheet cakes, roast chicken, and hot cross buns. To that end, season one winner of "The Great British Bakeoff" Edd Kimber has released not one, but two traybake recipe books that champion delicious recipes with minimal equipment required (via You Magazine).

Dessert vs pudding

For those of us who map out desserts before the main meal hits the table, sweets terminology is of the utmost importance. So, when life takes your tastebuds across the Atlantic, it's imperative to know that British "pudding" can encompass savory as well as sweet applications. While Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, and sticky toffee puddings all carry the "pudding" handle in the U.K., the pudding course is synonymous with a U.S. dessert finale.

Pudding is also regional. According to Jill Coombe, Gloucestershire local and founder of the Pudding Club, a proper pudding dish is substantial and "devoted to preserving the tradition of the great British pudding." In this case, classic puddings take on more specific characteristics, usually featuring warm cakes steeped in moist syrups or jams and extra sauce for pouring (via Saveur). Meanwhile, for Taylor, pudding is interchangeable with American dessert connotations — ice cream, cake, and sticky toffee pudding included. 

Per the Great British Magazine, the British class system once identified lower class sweets, such as rice pudding, as "puddings." Meanwhile, mousse and soufflés were reserved for the upper class. While ostentatious dessert judgment has subsided, the pudding name stuck around. So, how does Britain classify American pudding?  rice pudding, as "puddings." Meanwhile, mousse and soufflés were reserved for the upper class. While ostentatious dessert judgment has subsided, the pudding name stuck around. So, how does Britain classify American pudding? MasterClass defines American pudding as mixture of dairy, sugar, and starch that's cooked together.

Eggplant vs aubergine

Aubergine references are a dead giveaway for any cookbook published in the U.K. While confusing at first, a quick search will confirm that eggplant and aubergine are indeed the same. A member of the nightshade family, eggplant comes in many different shapes and sizes. Italian eggplants have a deep purple color on the outside, an oblong globe shape, and a pale interior. Japanese and Chinese eggplants are slender, fairy eggplants are the size of your palm, and white eggplants distinguished by a pale peel.

As with many other food names, the English followed French precedent and adopted aubergine as the preferred term. How Americans got to "eggplant," however, is another story. The first eggplant to touch down on North American soil were white brinjals. This eggplant variety looked like white eggs, but eventually were sidelined by flashy Italian purple eggplants. Only the "egg" reference remained (via The Cookful).

Whatever you choose to call it, eggplant is delicious and extremely versatile. When cooked, eggplant soaks up any variety of flavorful seasonings and oils like a sponge and stands up to a plethora of cooking methods. The options for this veggie, whatever you call it, are seemingly never-ending.

Cilantro vs coriander

Cilantro isn't exactly an ingredient that flies under the radar. Approximately half the population loves its zesty punch, while the other half insists it tastes like soap. But, whether you hate it or love it, cilantro's reach cannot be disputed. Per World Crops, it is no less than the cornerstone of Latin American herbs. According to the Huffington Post, "cilantro" comes from the herb's Spanish name. Given the United State's proximity to Mexico, it should come as no surprise that the Spanish name flourishes here.

England, however, refers to the same leafy herb as coriander, taking after the French word "coriandre." It may seem straightforward at first, but in the U.S., "coriander" takes on a very different meaning. Although from the same plant, Coriander seed is an entirely different ingredient. The tiny brown seeds can come whole or ground into a powder. Either way, the seasoning imparts warm and citrusy notes to Indian curries, falafel mixtures, and even steak rubs. In the U.S., it is easy to differentiate the two. Coriander refers to the seed, and cilantro to the fresh herb. But in England, specifying between fresh coriander or coriander seed is a necessary distinction. Fortunately for cilantro haters, the seed doesn't taste anything like the leaf.

Pancakes vs drop scones

Pancakes have a profound history. Grinding tools from 30,000 years ago point towards Stone Age flour-making and early flapjack creations (via National Geographic). Evidence suggests that ancient Greek and Roman communities were chowing down on griddled cakes served with honey a few thousand years later. In the U.S., the first pancake prototypes circulated throughout early American colonies. After a little French influence, courtesy of statesman Thomas Jefferson, a leavened griddlecake became commonplace in the United States.

Pancakes are called drop scones in England. Despite the terminology difference, drop scones are a nearly identical griddled cake beckoning diners to pour on syrup drizzles, juicy fruit toppings, and pools of melted butter (via Cambridge Dictionary). Per the BBC, drop scones (also known as Scottish pancakes in some circles) are thicker than crepes and rise when they hit a hot grill. By all definitions, pancakes and drop scones check the same breakfast boxes.

To make matters more confusing, the U.S. also has dishes known as drop scones and drop biscuits which are something else entirely. Take Taste of Home's lemon and blueberry drop scones, which aren't flat and cooked on a griddle. Instead, they are rounded scones dropped onto a baking sheet with a spoon — no rolling or shaping required.

Cake vs sponge

In its fully frosted form, cake is a universal term in England and the U.S., despite the variety inherent in the term. Sometimes cakes are layered, filled with creams and compotes, or left to shine on their own. A slice of cake is just that ... cake. But referring to naked cake layers is a totally different ballgame. In the U.S., we refer to a cake round — the one we hope and pray comes out cleanly, perhaps with the help of cooking spray and parchment paper — the same way we refer to the final product. Sure, one is unfrosted, and the other dressed to the nines in decadent buttercream. Still, we don't discriminate between the two.

The same cannot be said for England. Instead, those layers are called "sponges." Chocolate sponge, yellow sponge, genoise sponge — they are all different cakes made with specific techniques. For example, some beat the egg whites until stiff, while others cream the butter and sugar together first. Nonetheless, the baked layer is just a sponge until it grows to cake proportions. This Christmas Gingerbread Cake from "The Great British Bakeoff" recipe vault is a perfect example, referring to the cake layers as sponges and the final showstopper as a cake.

Cotton candy vs candy floss

Cotton candy is utterly dreamlike. Perhaps you've stood in some fairgrounds somewhere, watching the wide paper straw go around and around the cotton candy machine, collecting delicate sugar strands and going from nothing to a pink or blue feathery-light confectionary cloud. Cotton candy chunks unravel just as fast as it climbs the cone, ready to disintegrate into a pool of melted sugar and leave behind sticky fingers to repeat the entire process. It's impossible not to get wrapped up in the magic.

Early cotton candy or candy floss renditions date to 15th-century Italy (via National Geographic). There were no fancy machines, so instead, melted sugar was waved over a wooden broom handle with tongs, much like spun sugar. The U.S. first saw cotton candy when Willian Morrison invented the stuff in 1897 and patented the electric cotton candy machine. The confection made its public debut at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri as Fairy Floss (via Grammarist). 

Per Macmillan, Britain adopted the term fairy floss in the 1950s, and eventually, candy floss took over. The word "candy" likely comes from the Sanskrit word "khanda," meaning "piece of sugar" and "floss" from the Latin "floccus," meaning "tuft of wool." The U.S., meanwhile, swapped "floccus" for "cotton" and stuck with the all-encompassing sugary "candy."

Zucchini vs courgette

A few years ago, zucchini took a "zoodle" turn, joining cauliflower rice and butternut squash noodles on a long list of spiralized or riced vegetable swaps intended to make your meal healthier. But it's been around far longer than that trend. Indeed, a well-traveled past paved the way for our modern zucchini habit. Before the term "courgette" entered the equation, zucchini seeds date back to 9000 to 4000 BCE in current-day Mexico, indicating early Central American origins. During the early colonization of the Americas, zucchini seeds made their way back to Italy, and zucchini was later popularized in the late 1800s (via The Kitchen Project).

So, how did zucchini inventory end up back in the U.S. on such a large scale? It wasn't until the mid-1900s that Italian immigrants brought the summer squash, and the name (which comes from the Italian "zucca"), back west to U.S. cities (via The Hmong American Farmers Association). England, on the other hand, wasn't exposed to the Italian name. Instead, Italian "Zucca" traveled to France before landing in England. The French "courgette" eventfully crossed the English Channel and permanently fastened to the England's lexicon.

Granola bars vs flapjacks

Granola bars are the perfect on-the-go snack, packed with fiber and usually just sweet enough to mirror some of your favorite cookie attributes. Some versions have chocolate chips or dried fruit, some are crunchy, while others possess a satisfying chew. All told, it's the perfect option to accommodate busy lifestyles and hungry appetites.

The British term for a granola bar, "flapjacks," could not be less expected to American ears. Per The Spruce Eats, flapjacks are a homemade tray bake favorite and usually contain oats, golden syrup, butter, and sugar. One thing is for sure — British flapjacks are not American pancakes. However, American breakfast enthusiasts use the terms pancake and flapjack interchangeably, a state of affairs dating back to American colonial times (via National Geographic).

American granola bars and British flapjacks follow similar preparations, although golden syrup is harder to find here in the States. Both share a propensity for at-home customization and require minimal effort — stirring everything together and a quick bake is all that's required. Trendy packaged protein flapjacks and granola bars also line both U.K. and U.S. supermarket shelves (via Tesco).

Grilled cheese vs toasted cheese

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a quintessential American comfort food. It's so much so that Andy Warhol's famous Campbell's tomato soup masterpiece delivers classic grilled cheese imagery that's now embedded in American cultures. It's certainly true for those of us who grew up dipping toasted, buttery bread and melted cheese into the creamy tomato concentrate soup. The sandwich is, in short, transformative.

Per The Committed Pig, early grilled cheese sandwiches date way back to ancient Roman times. In the early 1900s, the French croque-monsieur likely influenced toasted bread and cheese sandwiches in the U.S. (via The Culture Trip). In the 1920s, open-faced bread and cheese sandwiches fed Navy crews during World War II and, by 1949, a second bread slice joined the party. In the U.S., the name "grilled cheese" didn't actually become common until the 1960s. In fact, we called it a "toasted cheese" before then. 

Toasted cheese, or "toastie" for short, still lingers around U.K. parts. For instance, ,Babos in Glasgow, Scotland, is all about the cheese toastie, serving up a menu with mac and cheese, bacon, fried egg, and chili tomato jam, as well as Buffalo chicken toasties.

French toast vs eggy bread

Based on soaked bread history, we may be beholden to the United Kingdom for the rest of time. According to Food & Wine, bread has been dipped in eggs for thousands of years, all in order to not waste stale bread. An ancient Roman recipe collection inluded references to egg-dipped bread in the 2nd-century A.D. In the 14th-century, German arme ritter and tostées dorées, a "golden toast" creation from French court cook Taillevent, featured stale bread soaked in egg and fried in an oiled pan.

According to Frenchly, "pain perdu," meaning "lost bread," became popular at King Henri V's court in the 15th-century. Two centuries later, the term "French toast" appeared in "The Accomplisht Cook." 

After all that, the name French toast actually came to the U.S. from England in the 17th century, when settlers made the long sea journey to America. In 1871, the "Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink" included "French toast" references, although different terms were used all over the world to describe the popular dish (via The Breakfast Shoppe). Eggy bread is one common reference, so it appears the England reverted back to a more concise and descriptive term in more recent centuries.

Shrimp vs prawns

Prawn cocktail, at least for those of us living stateside, may not have the same ring as the more familiar shrimp cocktail. Whether you call them prawns or shrimp, however, the small crustacean is immensely popular in both England and the U.S. Per The Guardian, prawns are one of Britain's most popular proteins, and according to NOAA Fisheries, shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States. So, is there a difference between thet wo?

Per Food & Wine, prawns and shrimp really do refer to two different crustaceans in the U.S. Not only do they belong to different subspecies, but they also have distinct anatomies. Shrimp are smaller salt water-dwellers and only have claws on two legs. Prawns have claws on three legs. In addition, while both have three abdominal segments, the middle segment of shrimp overlaps the outer two; prawns have a successive overlapping shell pattern.

In England, prawns are equivalent to American shrimp and are more likely to come from East Asia and South America (via FloGroFresh). According to The Guardian, 6.5 million kilos of British prawns (American shrimp) eaten annually in the U.K. are from Bangladesh. Britain specifies "freshwater prawns" or "king prawns" to differentiate between saltwater shrimp and freshwater prawns. However, small shrimp are still called prawns, per The Fish Society U.K.

Candy vs sweets

The United States and England both love their sweet treats. Halloween candy bundles, Easter chocolate foil wrappings, and Valentine's Day candy hearts can attest to our love of sugary things.

In the England, however, candy is referred to as "sweets." According to the BBC, candy or sweets have been around since 8000 BCE, originally made with honey. By 2000 BCE, Sanskrit texts mentioned Indian sweets made with milk and sugar. Candy made from honey and nuts has also been excavated in Egyptian pyramids, dating back a few thousand years. 

At first, the exclusivity of certain ingredients meant that sweets were a treat for the British upper class only. However, by the Victorian Era, sweet shops began to pop up across the U.K., making sweets more accessible for everybody. British and French sweets made their way to the U.S. in the 18th-century, and we quickly adopted the word "candy" from the Sanskrit word "khanda," meaning "piece of sugar" (via South Florida Reporter).

Granulated sugar vs caster sugar

Sugar is just about the source of everything sweet in life, being central to baking, sweetening tea, or coating freshly fried donuts. There are many types of sugar out there, including confectioner's sugar, brown sugar, pearl sugar, turbinado sugar, and of course, good old granulated sugar. Baking recipes usually specify granulated sugar, a refined and finely-ground variety that dissolves easily. Cookbooks in England, however, will call for caster sugar in place of granulated sugar. So, are these two sweeteners the same?

According to Nigella Lawson, granulated sugar and caster sugar are, in fact, different. On Nigella's website, she explains that granulated sugar in England is much more coarse than American granulated sugar, meaning it won't work for most baking projects. Caster sugar is finer and preferred for tasks like creaming butter and sugar or beating egg whites to smooth meringue-worthy peaks. Because granulated sugar in England isn't suitable for baking, caster sugar is the obvious replacement. Caster sugar is available here in the U.S. as well. The texture is slightly finer than granulated sugar and is often labeled "superfine sugar" or "baker's sugar."

Tomato paste vs tomato puree

The tomato paste and tomato puree debate is particularly confusing, mostly because the U.S. has both, where they are completely different tomato products. Per Bon Appétit, tomato paste is a smooth paste made from concentrated tomatoes with the seeds and pulp removed. Tomato paste is available in small cans or squeezable tubes. On the other hand, tomato puree is a blended mixture of cooked and strained tomatoes (via MasterClass). As a result, the consistency of a purée is much thinner than its paste cousin, lending itself best to tomato-based sauces, soups, and stews.

In England, the same concentrated cans of tomato product are called "tomato puree" and look exactly like the tomato paste tubes we find here in the U.S. (via Tesco). If grocery store shoppers there are in search of a thinner, pureed tomato product, chopped, strained, or tomato passata (an Italian puree made with fresh tomatoes) is the way to go.

Heavy cream vs double cream

Cream is a culinary magic trick waiting to happen. Once a rich white liquid, with a little work, cream whips up into airy dollops destined for waffle tops, chocolate mousse, or berry fools. However, not all creams are created equal.

Heavy cream or double cream can both be used for whipping, although they aren't exactly the same. While they technically can be used interchangeably, England's double cream has at least 48% butterfat, while American heavy cream contains between 36% to 38% butterfat, as per What's Cooking America

To make matters even more confusing, whipping cream in the U.S. is a different product with only 30% butterfat. England has a whipping cream of its own that sits around 36% butterfat, making it the equivalent of American heavy cream. What's more, all of the above can be used for whipping, stirring into sauces, and pouring over fresh summer peaches. However, attention to detail can pay off here. A higher fat content lends itself well to stable whipped cream peaks and can prevent sauces from curdling.

Milky Way vs Mars Bar

Milky Way bars – defined here as a triple threat of nougat, caramel, and chocolate coating — are an American candy mainstay. Halloween trick-or-treat bags filled with Hershey bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers, and adorable Milky Way minis are common in the U.S. Across the pond, Milky Ways go by the name of Mars Bars, the same name as the man who invented them. Frank C. Mars began candy-making experiments in Tacoma, Washington before relocating to Minneapolis to open The Nougat House — a small, independent candy store (via Snack History). After a few failed candy attempts, Mars landed on a successful combination and named it the Milky Way in 1923.

So why does Britain carry on the Mars name? In the 1940s, Mars sent his son Forrest to Europe to expand the Milky Way market (via TIME). Forrest rebranded the chocolate bar in multiple ways by sweetening the flavor, eliminating the caramel layer altogether, and naming the adapted version a Mars Bar.

Bread flour vs strong flour

American bakers are used to all-purpose flour meant for all manner of recipes. So, if you aren't familiar with variants like bread flour, the term strong flour may make things even more puzzling. Baking is very much a science, so using the right ingredients — down to correct gluten percentages — is essential. Fortunately, bread flour and strong flour narratives are pretty straightforward. In fact, the two flours are exactly the same.

British strong flour or American bread flour contains 11 to 13% protein compared to all-purpose's 9 to11% protein. Higher protein is needed to activate flour's gluten, which creates an elastic dough and gives bread its distinct texture full of irregular holes.

On the other end of the protein spectrum, you have cake or pastry flour intended to keep cakes, scones, or biscuits light and tender. Aside from crusty bread loaves, bread flour is key to the success of many other baked goods. Bagels, cinnamon buns, pizza dough, and pretzels akk possess a characteristic chew that only bread flour can achieve. The British hot cross buns also reap bread flour benefits. A sweet dough similar to American cinnamon rolls, it requires bread flour to maintain a rich and chewy texture (via BBC).

Ground meat vs mincemeat

Meatballs, meatloaf, kebabs ... they all start with ground meat. In England, however, there is no mention of "meat" in any ground meat labels. Instead, mince refers to any ground protein and requires beef, lamb, or pork clarifications for savvy shopper. For example, beef mince caters to England's meatball needs, lamb mince for Greek moussaka, and pork mince to fill dumpling wrappers.

Meat mince is not to be confused with mince pie, a British dessert classic featuring a syrupy fruit filling inside a flakey pastry crust. Early mince pies did actually contain ground meat, to be fair. However, over centuries of mince pie construction, meat became less and less popular and eventually left mince pie recipes altogether. 

According to Delish, Americans struggle to understand the difference between mince and mincemeat. In 2019, the site reports, The Spruce Eats blog posted an apple and mincemeat recipe, but instead of reaching for fruity jarred mincemeat, photographers used ground beef instead. The recipe was eventually corrected, but it's safe to say that the mince name can still perplex U.S. cooks.

Oatmeal vs porridge

Along with granola, oatmeal is a frequent oat creation. Children grow up opening packages of Quaker Quick Oats and wait for boiling milk or water to soften the fiber-packed grain. The sugar-inclined eaters sought out dinosaur oatmeal — an oat assembly with sugary "dino" eggs that were usually gone before the hot liquid filled the bowl. More recently, oatmeal has taken a trendy turn. Baked oatmeal is all the rage on TikTok (via TODAY), while overnight oats and steel-cut oats tout added health benefits.

Per BBC Good Food, British porridge is made with oats and water or milk, served for breakfast, and seasoned with warm spices, fruit, and sweeteners. In short, it's basically identical to American oatmeal. According to MasterClass, however, porridge is a broad term meant to describe stewed grains. For example, quinoa porridge, buckwheat porridge, and brown rice porridge are all basically cooked the same way.

Arugula vs rocket

Arugula is a lettuce leaf with attitude. The delicate, peppery green can garnish charred pizzas, mix with zesty vinaigrette, or even form a delicious pesto with the help of some parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Whichever route you choose to get this green from garden to your dinner table, know that this situation is actually pretty simple. That's becuase arugula and rocket are actually the same thing, just with different names.

According to Bon Appétit, both terms have Latin roots. Like zucchini, arugula was introduced to the U.S. by Italian immigrants and became commonplace by the 1980s. In Italy's southern Calabria, the word for arugula is "rucola" or "aruculu," which closely resembles our "arugula." Rocket has a more involved history. The word "ruchetta" hails from northern Italy and eventually crossed the Alps to France. The French altered the word slightly to "roquette," and by the 16th-century, Britain welcomed roquette foundations while opting for simpler "rocket" terminology.