I live in the land of Imperial measurements with a strong propensity to volume over weight. Personally I prefer weight over volume and metric over Imperial. You?
We lived in the Netherlands for a few years. I became somewhat conversant with metric, but kept conversion charts handy and used meat and oven thermometers I brought from the States. Also measuring cups and measuring spoons…but I did learn “supermarket Dutch” and did purchase one or two cookbooks written in Dutch with metric measurements. The grocery store flyers from Albert Heijn where I shopped were very helpful both with vocabulary, recipes and metric kitchen measurements and temperatures.
In terms of weight vs. volume, I use both.
Metric. Whenever I search for a recipe online and it’s in American measurements I keep looking for one that’s in metric.
Metric. And I’m with Presunto on recipes that use imperial or cup measures - I keep on moving.
Both, but mainly volume. Weights on fruit when making jam, and some other things. Due to recent mixed results with bread making, will start to use weights exclusively for that. I won’t buy cookbooks with weights only, prefer both, but do buy certain ones with volumes only.
I definitely prefer weight to volume for anything that can be really variable (e.g., flours/powders/granules, or irregular-size foods/pieces) and/or where precision counts, but except in baking recipes, I can deal with volume measurements well enough if that’s what I have…
Metric vs Imperial is more of a mixed bag, and I’m relatively ambi-<whatever-you-call-it>… In general I tend to “think in” Imperial measurements (especially things like pounds, volume, and temperature), but I could recite the conversion formulas in my sleep and these days some sort of calculator is always handy for the conversions I can’t do in my head…
For small or very precise quantities, I prefer metric because dealing with smaller, integral units of measurement is easier than the fractional nonsense you have to get into with Imperial. Otoh, I have no time for things like metric baking pan measurements (vs “inches round”, 8x8, 9x9, 13x9, etc) and they’ll have to pry the “mil” (one- thousandth of an inch) out of my cold, dead hands (plastic films have no business being measured in micrometers, afaic ). And because its units are finer (and the scaling which other metric units make so easy isn’t really involved), I prefer Fahrenheit to Celsius for temperature…
Weight for baking. But I had a strange experience. My digital scale’s battery died, and I winged it with volume for bread for a while. The standard ratio for bread is supposed to be 5:3 flour to water (see Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio). I used five half-cup measures of flour and three of water, and the dough was fine and I got a good rise. When I replaced the battery, I switched to weight, 300gm flour to 180gm water, still a 5:3 ratio. But the dough was very dry and the loaves were heavy. I experimented, and am currently using about 210gm water. It could be that I use mostly whole-wheat flour, I guess. For non-baking, except for sauces like creme anglais, I rarely measure at all.
Am impressed you are a bread maker @ernie_in_berkeley; do you ever make any Greek style loaves? The names escape me at the moment. We do Greek Easter style bread for all the Greekish holidays we celebrate. Really good stuff, am sure you know. Toasted - pure heaven in both aroma and taste.
For me it depends. Wish I could say when and why right now, but as I’m learning I seem to notice when it counts. The most obvious is weight for things measured dry.
Recently I had one kind of Kosher salt when the recipe called for another, and weights would have helped. Grams or ounces. Instead I did my usual sojourn down rabbit holes looking for conversions.
I am binging on Great British Baking whatever and feeling pretty a bit more ambidextrous with regard to farenheit and centigrade.
I bookmarked this site years ago just in case. Even then, there’s a difference in liquid and solid. It’s infuriating.
Check out the comments as well.
I lived on Ternatestraat in Delft. There was a green grocer, a butcher, and a cheese shop on the street. It was an adjustment but I learned to enjoy it.
It’s many years since I last visited Delft but I remember it a a lovely small town.
Mrs H used to visit the Netherlands for work quite regularly (she was part of a Europe-wide management team). But that only involved flying to Schipol, having the team meeting at the hotel in the airport terminal and then flying home again. She’d usually bring me back a food present bought at one of the shops - often smoked eel.
I like to think I’m flexible enough to use either - and in fact I do use both. To the point where I often write in measures (if a recipe is in weight) and vice versa. A big factor for me is that I travel a lot and often travel with pictures of recipes on my phone in case I want (or am asked) to cook when traveling (happens all the time, and I like doing it). And I don’t travel with a scale . . . . so I like having the option of either based on what I have available to me at the time.
Great point about the salt @shrinkrap; was thinking it but forgot to post. Lots of difference, even with the Kosher salts.
You DON’T TRAVEL WITH A SCALE? Monster! Cave-man! grin
I know - sad but true . . . . I have been known to travel with my own measuring cups/spoons LOL - sad but true too.
Always travel with a couple good knives, sometimes spices, coffee beans and grinder. Lots of cookbooks on IPad. Made a pie in a very well provisioned beach home, but no rolling pin. A wine bottle worked nicely, but oh so difficult to find! NOT
No concession to metrics while traveling, because mostly domestic.
Personally was disappointed when we didn’t change to metrics during the 70’s, as was planned. Was all ready for the change that didn’t happen.