Monday, July 8, 2013

Naughts and Zeds: Punnet of Strawberries

Naughts and Zeds is an ongoing series of posts on the differences between language, culture, and everyday items in America and in Britain. For a list of previous posts, go here.

J's school is having a cook-out and each student in his class had to donate a "punnet of strawberries." "Strawberries" I know, but "punnet" is a new and cryptic word to me. Fortunately Google came to the rescue before I had to do anything really embarrassing (like asking one of the other parents!). Punnet is a small container for gathering and selling fruits and veg, especially small berries. I can't tell from the pictures whether it's a pint or a quart, I'm guessing it's closer to a pint.

The origin of the word is uncertain. Some suspect it is a diminutive of "pun," a British dialect word for "pound." Thus it's less than a pound. We've bought what we need to donate:

I did not check with the store clerk to make sure this was the right size

The school cook-out happened on July 5, so don't worry about the expiration date on the package above. They served strawberries and heavy cream (which is a rather thick whipped cream, but that's a term for another post...) along with sausages and burgers and grilled vegetable kebaps (which is a kebab, another term for another post!). They were all delicious.

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