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Post Reply Is calling cakes and other baked goods 'sweets' an American thing or a Japanese thing?
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Posted 21 days ago
Well at the very least I can tell ya it's not a Canadian thing mate. The semi educated and above in Canada tend to refer to desserts and other sweet food by their proper name when known and as desserts when the proper name is not known. Though we usually inquire to the proper name of said food item by it's maker whenever possible.
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Posted 21 days ago

aeb0717 wrote:

International, though the usage nowadays leans more towards being a Japanese thing, as opposed to American. It's fairly archaic to refer to the foods as "sweets," at least, in the USA.


[Sorry I missed this comment hence the delayed response]

So this makes a lot more sense, I can understand if this is the case. Having said that, other people that have commented say they call them sweets so once again I guess it comes back round to being a regional thing. But still, it makes more sense if it's just a dated expression that has gotten a bit more exposure from anime etc.
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Posted 21 days ago

TheDustyForest wrote:So, basically, is referring to cakes etc. as 'sweets' an American or a Japanese thing?


We always thought it was an England thing.

(Sometimes subtitles come in by way of a UK translator.)
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Posted 21 days ago

Ranwolf wrote:

Well at the very least I can tell ya it's not a Canadian thing mate. The semi educated and above in Canada tend to refer to desserts and other sweet food by their proper name when known and as desserts when the proper name is not known. Though we usually inquire to the proper name of said food item by it's maker whenever possible.


Hmm, someone said something similar earlier. I think dessert is a bit of an odd catch-all term, since I associate the term specifically with the sweet food you eat straight after a dinner (though being English I call it 'pudding' instead of dessert anyway).

At least in my experience, people around me would be inclined to just refer to any kind of pastry or cake-like product as either a pastry or a cake... it seems strange to me that people would just call everything by a single catch-all term like 'dessert' if they didn't know the specific name of it (or am I just being obtuse, I can't tell).


Ejanss wrote:

We always thought it was an England thing.

(Sometimes subtitles come in by way of a UK translator.)


It's funny how these things come full circle. I guess it must just be an international thing that only pops up in certain regions regardless of country. I'm from the South of England where we usually just call things by their 'dictionary name' rather than some of the more colourful terms you get as you go further north (e.g. the ongoing dispute among various areas of the country as to what the correct term for a bread roll is: http://www.villagebakery.co.uk/blog/bakery-blog/buns-barms-and-bin-lids/ ) The more responses this thread gets the more I'm expectant of the term 'sweets' being used in certain places in England to mean cakes etc.
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Posted 21 days ago

TheDustyForest wrote:

e]

Hmm, someone said something similar earlier. I think dessert is a bit of an odd catch-all term, since I associate the term specifically with the sweet food you eat straight after a dinner (though being English I call it 'pudding' instead of dessert anyway).

At least in my experience, people around me would be inclined to just refer to any kind of pastry or cake-like product as either a pastry or a cake... it seems strange to me that people would just call everything by a single catch-all term like 'dessert' if they didn't know the specific name of it (or am I just being obtuse, I can't tell).




Like I said Canadians prefer the proper term ( we as a nation are in love with proper terminology ) whenever possible but there is a whole wide world of sweet food out there and we can't always know what all of it is called. Besides in my personal opinion dessert sounds a more proper term then just sweets. Sweets to me seems to mean more of a Candy bent, chocolate bars and the like.
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Posted 21 days ago
I think it's an everything thing......
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Posted 21 days ago

Ranwolf wrote:

Like I said Canadians prefer the proper term ( we as a nation are in love with proper terminology ) whenever possible but there is a whole wide world of sweet food out there and we can't always know what all of it is called. Besides in my personal opinion dessert sounds a more proper term then just sweets. Sweets to me seems to mean more of a Candy bent, chocolate bars and the like.


Yeah when I hear the word 'sweets' I think of it in terms of what I believe most Americans call 'candy', I didn't realise it was also used in Canada.

As regards the whole calling-everything-dessert-if-you-don't-know-its-proper-name thing, the more I think about it, the more I realise I do the same with the word 'pudding' (though not really with cakes or pastries, more with things like mousses, extravagant yoghurts, pre-packaged profiteroles etc.) so I guess calling everything 'dessert' isn't really that strange after all.
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