Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.

 

Multi-lingual Herb and Spice Index

by Sandra Bowens

"What are the Spanish names of common herbs?"

 

We found this question in the website mailbox one morning.  Unfortunately the letter was lost in the big web host transfer but the question lingered.  I set about to fill him in with a few common herbs through the Q&A section but then found myself noticing the other names from other countries.  I became intrigued and thought it might be fun to share.

 

What follows is an index of 36 herb and spice names in seven languages.  Maybe it will help some readers at the ethnic market or while traveling and others with translating my recipes to their own language.  Even if you can't find a use for knowing these names, I hope you will enjoy learning a bit more.

 

Notice how certain names are similar in all the countries, like cardamom, and how completely different another might be, like garlic.

 

I also found it fun to see how many of the foreign language names I already knew.  I fear in the big scheme of things, it was very few. I recognized the Italian "finocchio" for fennel.  I knew "comino" for cumin in Spanish.  I did know that some cultures refer to tarragon as "dragon," I just didn't know it was Swedish.

 

The resource here was Fredric Rosengarten, Jr.'s The Book of Spices.  If the language you are looking for is not on the table below, let us know.  Another could be done with Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese.

Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.

 Here are the answers to all of your questions arranged season by season. Fully illustrated, this growing guide covers 64 different herbs.

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