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This is the searchable online international food dictionary with 67,413 terms in 307 languages plus 42,027 plurals.

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The database behind this site was the loving creation of Suzy Oakes, who has since passed away. She is greatly missed. You can see her obituary in the Guardian

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endive and chicory confusion

Plural: endives

Language: English

Description: There are one or two foods that fill me with dread when it comes to translating them. Halibut and turbot, sole and flounder, chicory and endive. These are the worst. To start with, the Brits and the Americans are diametrically opposed in what they call endive and what they call chicory. So, if I am working with an American reference that says 'endive' then, to the Brits, it is chicory. To avoid the inevitable confusion that arises I record this as "Chicory (US: endive)" which should help. However, this is all made doubly complicated by the fact that most of the different types of endive/chicory come under the same Latin name: Cichorium intybus L.

For most of my confusions (such as halibut and turbot) I try to get back to the Latin to differentiate once and for all. With endive/chicory I can't use the Latin to differentiate. What the Brits call chicory (US: endive), is a varietal 'Witlof' (white leaf) of the common endive which is then forced in darkness to produce the familiar white spears. However, many people, in referring to it simply call it Cichorium intybus L. This makes things very difficult. I have done quite a lot of work to try to be sure about the correct names in different languages of these foods. And then, of course, to make life more complicated, there are the people locally who may themselves call it by the 'wrong' name which, in turn becomes the 'right' name. For more on this see my entry on 'Fish'.

Latin: Cichorium intybus (Linnaeus)
Most frequent country: Widespread

Substitutes: radicchio, rocket or any other bitter salad leaves.

See foods and dishes: Fish

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