[Sca-cooks] Synonym Assistance

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 10 13:53:12 PDT 2008

I wrote:
>  Yerasimos uses the French gelee (literally jelly) in a number of
>  places.
>  The one i'm having trouble with is the application of gelee to Paluze.
>  This is a dish made of fruit juice, sugar, and wheat starch, cooked
>  until thick, then poured onto a marble slab to set, then cut into
>  pieces. Descriptions in other sources say it is chewy, and make it
>  sound as if it's almost like fruit leather, but not so tough.
>  I know that the English often say "jelly", where we USAmericans would
>  say jello, but that's a brand name; it's clearly not gelatin, since no
>  gelatin is involved; and i don't want to say fruit leather, because it
>  isn't quite.
>  For the moment i have "fruit gel", which isn't quite right either.

And Antonia responded:
>Sooo... what's wrong with just calling it a jelly?

Jelly means different things to English speakers in different places. 
I am guessing that since you're in New Zealand, you lean toward the 
British form...

In the US where i am, jelly is a relative of jam. Juice and sugar are 
cooked to a soft spreadable state with enough pectin to set up a bit, 
like jam but without the pulp. Can't be cut into pieces.

As far as i understand, in Britain jelly is what we in the US call 
jello, a semi-solid jiggly translucent sweet dish made with a base of 
gelatin (i suppose one could also use agar, for something that won't 
melt in heat) sugar, and, theoretically, fruit juice. I would not 
describe jello as chewy, since it dissolves in one's mouth.

I also get the impression that jelly might apply to some other 
desserts for which we would use different names in the US, but i'm 
not sure which ones. (hey, here's a "teachable moment" :-)

Neither form of jelly is like the item in question, which is cooked 
down longer than US jelly, and is somewhat chewy and seems to be, 
mmm, flatter, than jello/jelly, although not as flat, dry, and tough 
as fruit leather.

I guess i will go with fruit paste. I guess that's as close as i'm 
going to get. Thanks to all for your suggestions.

I have still not found wheat starch, and i ransacked several smaller 
Chinese markets and a large one in Oakland's Chinatown and a couple 
gourmet type shops. I do have a couple boxes of organic non-GMO corn 
starch. How differently does it behave from wheat starch when cooked 
in food?
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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(Greco-Roman to Persian to German), and
additional period recipes & articles on food.

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