cuillère à café / à dessert / à soupe

Martinsell

Senior Member
English - UK
This one is for WordReferencing cooks :)

From other posts, I haven't found the confirmation I'm searching for.

In the context of *following the instructions regarding quantities in a recipe* we would, in English, use:

teaspoon
dessert spoon
tablespoon

Therefore, if I was translating said instructions, I would logically translate these measurements as:

cuillère à café
cuillère à dessert
cuillère à soupe

But I ask because there seems to be some confusion with cuillère à soupe - tablespoon or dessert spoon?

It is rather critical to get it right!

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Here is what I found

    1 cuillère à café (= à thé)0,5 cl -5 g (sel, sucre, café) - 4 g (farine, semoule)
    3 g (cacao, fécule)
    1 cuillère à dessert 1 cl
    1 cuillère à soupe 1,5 cl 15 g (sucre, beurre)
    12 g (farine, Crème fraîche)

    in French recipe we don't really measure with the dessert spoon.
     

    CarlosRapido

    Senior Member
    français - English (Can)
    in order of increasing size: teaspoon --> dessert spoon/soup spoon --> tablespoon

    actual measures:

    1 teaspoon = 5ml
    1 tablespoon = 15ml (3 teaspoons)
    2 to 2.5 teaspoons is a sensible measure for a "dessert spoon" (and mostly its quoted as 2 teaspoons) = 10ml.

    Dessert spoons and Soup spoons are different things, with different shapes, but are broadly of similar capacity, so for most purposes they are interchangeable. A soup spoon is a round shape with an even concave bowl, whereas a dessert spoon tends to be more egg-shaped. Source

    In French, you would have cuillère à thé/café = 5ml >> cuillère à soupe/cuillère à table = 15ml. Il n'y a pas de cuillère de 10ml en français, on dit 2 cuillères à thé. Source
     

    Martinsell

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Merci Petites mousctaches, alors je vais aller vérifier avec les cuillères que j'ai à la maison, mais si vous dîtes qu'on ne mesure pas d'habitude avec les cuillères à dessert, cela m'aide beaucoup.

    I think it's tablespoon that I need for my text. Merci encore, je vois que vous êtes à Washington et je ne sais pas ce que je dois vous dire - passez un bon après-midi, une bonne soirée? Bonne nuit même?
     

    Martinsell

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Et merci à vous aussi CarlosRapido

    My problem is that I simply have "cuillère à soupe" and I need to know whether I translate it as "dessert spoon" or "tablespoon". But I think, judging from Petites mousctaches's answer that tablespoon is the most likely. I think I will give the client the actual quantities in ml though, to be sure.
     

    Martinsell

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    You serve things with it. A tablespoon is actually much bigger than a soup spoon and impossible really to eat with, whereas a soup spoon you can sort of sip (slurp?) from...Tablespoons are on the table, or in the dish on the table, for people to serve themselves with...you don't eat with them. Does that help?

    At least that's my understanding of the world of spoons!
     

    CarlosRapido

    Senior Member
    français - English (Can)
    You serve things with it. A tablespoon is actually much bigger than a soup spoon and impossible really to eat with, whereas a soup spoon you can sort of sip (slurp?) from...Tablespoons are on the table, or in the dish on the table, for people to serve themselves with...you don't eat with them. Does that help?

    At least that's my understanding of the world of spoons!
    What you are refering to here is a serving spoon...see here
     

    Martinsell

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Ah ha! Do we have a US/Canadian versus UK English problem here?

    See Wikipedia - Tablespoon
    In the US and parts of Canada, a tablespoon is the largest type of spoon used for eating from a bowl. In the UK, Europe and most Commonwealth countries, a tablespoon is a type of large spoon usually used for serving. In countries where a tablespoon is a serving spoon, the nearest equivalent to the US tablespoon is either the dessert spoon or the soup spoon.

    Who would have believed spoons could be so complicated?
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    In all recipes, the spoon measures are the same for liquids and solids because the recipe decides the quantity. That means 1 tsp sugar or 1 tsp flour or 1 tsp cognac obviously have different weights but the recipe says it that way because you can't weigh liquids easily or measure 5mg of saffron on Kitchen scales.
    I have two sets of kitchen spoons one French and one English €2.50 at any Ivantout/Foire Fouille/Tesco's/Sainsbury's.
    The English one says : Tablespoon =15 ml, Dessert spoon = 10ml, Teaspoon = 5 ml
    The French set says : Tablespoon = 15 cc, 1/2 Tablespoon = 7.5 cc, Teaspoon = 5cc
    Of course, ml = mg only for water and cc seems to be a mistake for ml (Foire Fouille).:confused:
     

    Martinsell

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    On y est, finalement, grâce à l'intervention de guillaumedemanzac et ses cuillères françaises et anglaises.

    Merci à tous!
     

    orlando09

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I was researching this and I think that the issue is slightly more complicated, but basically in terms of recipes and cooks' measuring spoons:

    à café = teaspoon = 5cl
    à dessert (not so common) = dessert spoon = 10cl
    à soupe = tablespoon = 15cl.

    ....but a British 'coffee spoon' (not common) is smaller than a teaspoon, a traditional British imperial tablespoon is actually 17.8cl and a traditional imperial dessert spoon is acually 11.8cl.... which probably helps explain why in France the everyday sort of spoon to eat with is called soupe, whereas the most common kind in the UK is called dessert. There is also a British soup spoon, which is the size of a dessert spoon but more rounded, and is specifically for eating soup, and a serving spoon, which is bigger than a tablespoon and is for serving food with (cuillère de service or grande cuillère).
     
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