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,
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
let us know. Another could be done with Dutch, Portuguese, Russian,