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Multi-lingual Herb and Spice Index


Ever pondered spice labels at an ethnic market or read a menu where a seasoning sounded familiar but you just couldn't remember what it is?  Maybe English is not your first language and your phrase book doesn't include herbs and spices.  No

map of the world graphic
matter what the case, this handy seven-language index will expand your linguistic skills and provide some culinary word fun.

The cookbook is now available for purchase! To find out more about it as well as take advantage of special website pricing ($8 off--use discount code U9KGY74Z) visit the Spiced Right e-store at CreateSpace.
We got a glowing review! Check it out at the Chef Talk website.

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.   


Allspice Pimienta gorda Piment Piment Kryddpeppar Pepe Di Giamaica Boharat (7 spices)
Anise Ans Anis Anis Anis Anice Yanisum
Basil Albahaca Basilic Basilienkraut Basilika Basilico Raihan
Bay Leaves Laurel Laurier Lorbeer Lagerbrsblad Alloro Waraq Ghaar
Caraway Alcaravea Carvi Kmmel Kummin Carvi Karawiya
Cardamom Cardamomo Cardamome Kardamom Karde-mumma Cardamomo Hale/ Habahaan
Cayenne Cayena Poivre rouge Cayenne-pfeffer Kajennpeppar Pepe di Caienna Filfil Ahmar
Celery Seed Apio Celeri Sellerie Sellerifr Sedano Karafs
Chervil Cerafolio Cerfeuil Kerbel Korvel Cerfoglio Maqdunis franji
Chives Cebolleta Ciboulette Schnittlauch Grslk Cipollina Waraq basal
Cinnamon Canela Cannelle Zimt Kanel Cannella Qurfa
Cloves Clavo Girofle Gewrznelken Kryddnejilka Garofano Qaranful
Coriander Cilantro Coriandre Koriander Koriander Coriandolo Kuzbara
Cumin Comino Cumin Rmischer Kmmel Spiskummin Comino Kamoun
Dill Eneldo Aneth Dill Dill Aneto Shibit
Fennel Hinojo Fenouil Fenchel Fankal Finocchio Shammar
Garlic Ajo Ail Knoblauch Vitlok Aglio Thum
Ginger Jengibre Gingembre Ingwer Ingefara Zenzero Zanjabeel
Marjoram Mejorano Marjolaine Majoran Mejram Maggiorana Marzanjush
Mint Mentha Menthe Pfefferminze Pepparmynta Menta Na'nā'
Mustard Seed Mostaza Moutarde Senfsaat Senapsfr Senape Khardal
Nutmeg Nuez Moscada Muscade Muskatnuss Muskotnt Noce Moscata Basbasa
Onion Cebolla Oignon Zwiebel Lk Cipolla Basal
Oregano Organo Origan Oregano Oregano Regamo Anrar
Paprika Pimentn Poivre de Guine Paprika Spansk Peppar Peperone Filfil Ahmar
Parsley Perejil Persil Petersilie Persilja Prezzemolo Bagdounis
Pepper Pimienta Poivre Pfeffer Peppar Pepe Filfil

Poppy Seed Adormidera Pavot Mohn Vallmofr Papavero Khas-Khas
Rosemary Romero Romarin Rosmarin Rosmarin Rosmarino Iklil al-Jabal
Saffron Azafrn Safran Safran Saffran Zafferano Za'farran
Sage Salvia Sauge Salbei Salvia Salvia Maryamiya
Savory Ajedrea Sarriette Bohnenkraut Kyndel Santoreggia Nadgh
Sesame Seed Ajonjol Sesame Sesam Sesamfr Sesamo Simsim
Tarragon Estragn Estragon Estragon Dragon Targone Turkhum
Thyme Tomillo Thym Thymian Timjan Timo Za'tar
Vanilla Vainilla Vanille Vanille Vanilj Vaniglia Wanila

For terms in Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese, see Another Multi-Lingual Herb and Spice Index.

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Other articles you might enjoy:

1. What's This? Questions and Answers Page

2. Another Multi-lingual Herb and Spice Index

3. The Gift of Food

4. Storing Dried Herbs and Spices

5. A Book Review: The Herbfarm Cookbook



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