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What Are "Cups"

Asked by marie-agnès. Answered on 6th May 2012

Full question

Hello Nigella, I am a French Domestic Goddess and I love everything you do. My only question is what do you mean by a cup ? Is it a large one, a small one, a medium one? I am not used to them because in France we talk about "kilos" or "grammes". Please help! Marie-Agnes, Paris

Our answer

Cup measures are popular in the US and in Australia and for some types of recipes they can be more convenient even if you are normally used to weighing ingredients. Nigella uses metric cups so when she refers to a "cup" or a "breakfast cup" it is a measure of 250mls. You can buy sets of cup measures in many cookware stores and on-line, usually a set of 4 made up of 1 cup (250 mls), 1/2 cup (125 mls), 1/3 cup (89 mls) and 1/4 cup (60 mls).

In the US a cup meaure is 8 ounces which is 240mls (so 1/2 cup is only 120mls but 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup mesures tend to be the same). For most recipes the difference is so small that it will not make a difference to the finisged dish. However Nigella's US books are converted specifically for US cups.

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