I was just looking up a recipe and this is what I saw:

2 large bunches of spinach, about 1 lb

I'm confused. Since bunch means lot of something, I've never seen someone counting it. After all, technically 2 bunches of something is still bunch all together, isn't it?

Is the recipe wrong, or do I have something to learn today?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, user140086, choster, jimm101, tchrist Oct 29 '16 at 13:29

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  • 1
    I have a bunch of apples. You have a bunch of oranges. Together we have a couple of bunches of fruit. – cobaltduck Oct 28 '16 at 13:46
  • A bunch of broccoli, also called a stalk or a head, is countable. See Ngram. – Peter Shor Oct 28 '16 at 13:46
  • 1
    As long as they are distinguishable from one another (often by string or rubber band when referring to produce) – Unrelated Oct 28 '16 at 13:52
  • Recipes can be very ambiguous in situations like this. Here in the UK, spinach often comes in plastic bags of various sizes, so a "bunch" is fairly meaningless. Since you have the alternative measurement (1lb), just use that. – Snow Oct 28 '16 at 15:04
  • Nouns have different usages. 'Two bunches of carrots' is fine (though of indeterminate weight); 'I have a whole bunch of stuff to do before I can come out.' is a non-count usage. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 28 '16 at 15:29

Spinach is often sold in bundles tied with wire or twine or rubber bands. Those bundles are referred to as "bunches". Since a bundle of spinach could be variable in size, the recipe provides additional information. If you went to your store and discovered a single bundle or bunch of spinach weighed one pound, you would need to buy only one. Spinach, radishes, parsley and similar vegetables are sold this way.

  • If you are buying loose items and need an equivalent (and the recipe doesn't provide additional info), a bunch is generally the largest amount you can fit into one hand. – John Feltz Oct 28 '16 at 15:09
  • So basically it's completelly different word? Basically noun that means vegetables bundled with twine? Can this be used for other things, like bunch of sticks, or bunch of herbs (eg. when drying them?) – Tomáš Zato Oct 28 '16 at 15:35
  • Specifically, could I use it in sentence "There were several bunches of herbs hanging from the ceiling."? – Tomáš Zato Oct 28 '16 at 15:36
  • Yes. "There was a bunch of parsley and 3 bunches of sage". Sticks would generally be 'bundle', not bunch. Also look up the verb form - "The fabric of the shirt was all bunched up". – John Feltz Oct 28 '16 at 15:53
  • @TomášZato 'Bunch can be used for all sorts of things that are tied in a bundle. Generally the things are narrow and often soft as plant stems often are. The hairstyle that is commonly called 'pigtails' in the US is called 'bunches' in Britain. In my experience 'bunch' in the 'bunch of stuff' sense is a much more recent usage. – Spagirl Oct 28 '16 at 16:00

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