Monday, February 4, 2008

Hey Sweety!

When talking about sugar...
And its attraction to...
And ability to hold onto...
(moisture, really)
I always thought Alton Brown used the word hyDroscopic - with a D.

Then, today I was reading one of my favorite blogs
from Chef Shuna Fish Lydon , where she was discussing
"To Sift or Not to Sift" and used the word hyGroscopic - with a G.

Easily solved...I thought.
Let's check Webster.

Merriam-Webster Online's definition for hyGroscopic:
hy·gro·scop·ic - adjective
Etymology: hygroscope, an instrument showing changes in humidity + 1-ic;
From the use of such materials in the hygroscope
Date: 1790
1 : readily taking up and retaining moisture
2 : taken up and retained under some conditions of humidity and temperature.

Merriam-Webster Online's definition for hyDroscopic:
No Entry for hydroscopic.

But, let's not jump to conclusions.

The U.S. Patent Office seems to weigh in here.
I found a patent issued in 2002 for a Non-hyDroscopic sweetener composition and method for preparation

And, a patent application for hyDroscopic polymer gels for easier cleaning

So.....I'm wondering...
1. Which term do you use - when discussing the moisture-lovin' properties of sugar, molasses and honey? Hydroscopic or hygroscopic?

2. Does anyone have Corriher's Cookwise or McGee's On Food and Cooking handy to see which word they use - if they use either? Wonder what's used in the CIA's Professional Chef?

Just pondering...
Sometimes THIS is what occupies my thoughts.
Scary, huh? Pin It

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Umm... I'm pretty sure a hydroscope is something you use to look at things under water ( ) So it wouldn't make sense to use hydroscopic in that way. Anyone who does is probably just misspelling hygroscopic.

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