Food Scales, It’s a Cultural Thing?
Anyone who has been reading my blog knows that my scales died the other day. I was thinking though when I first joined MFP one of the things that surprised me the most was the amount of posts on the forums by people asking if they needed a food scale. I was actually quite shocked as how can you weigh and portion your food without some scales?
As an Englishman living in Scotland I don’t think I’ve ever known of a household without any scales. I remember when I was very young we had my Grandmothers balance scales in the Kitchen (we used to live with her) these were then used by my Mother for years and when she died my Sister now has them and uses them. I also remember when I left home at the age of 18 one of the things that I bought for myself was a set of scales. It’s strange in the U.K even people who don’t really cook much will still have a set of scales in their kitchen.
I love cooking as a Vegan I search for recipes and frequently veganise non vegan recipes. I also have some very old cookbooks so the measurements of ingredients are in various formats from ounces to grams and in cups (both American and English). I do though find the use of cups quite strange in recipes. (Remember U.S cups are a different size to British ones). For liquids it makes perfect sense for other things the accuracy can be questionable. Even things like flour can differ depending on coarseness of mill or how long it’s had to settle. As for solid things like a cup of carrots?! How can that be an accurate measurement the amount you will fit in a cup will depend on how big you cut the pieces? As for a cup of Basil I saw in a recipe once how is that a measurement? Do I pack it in tight or loose? It could be anything from a couple of leaves to 200grams. The other thing is baking my Mother was a fantastic baker of cakes, biscuits and breads with baking most recipes are very specific for amounts. A little bit off in one ingredient can effect the whole texture of a cake or bread. So weights are of up most importance in baking.
So is it a cultural thing I’m wondering? It seems that the use of cups is much more prevalent in the U.S than in Europe. My advice though to anyone who wants to properly calorie count is you have to have a scale there is no other way to ensure that you are being accurate or not. Scales along with a good measuring jug are the only way in my opinion to ensure accuracy.
Just one more thing I find strange is the use of the Term ‘Food Scale’ I know it’s to differentiate between the ones we use to weigh ourselves. I though have never used that term until I joined MFP to me scales are well scales.
N.B. The picture is of my new scales I am waiting for.