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Welcome to our lesson on Standard-arabic Vocabulary → Spices! 🌶️ In this lesson, we will explore the rich and diverse world of spices in the Standard-arabic language. Spices play a significant role in the culinary traditions of the Arab world, and learning their names and uses will not only expand your vocabulary but also give you a deeper understanding of the culture and cuisine. After mastering the spices, you might want to check out our lessons on Arabic vocabulary for fish and seafood 🐟, Arabic food vocabulary 🍽️, and even our list of Arabic-English cognates to further enhance your language skills. Let's dive into the flavorful world of Standard-arabic spices!

Spices through ages[edit | edit source]

Spices are one of the most important components of the economy of the old civilizations, equally to gold, silver and precious stones.The history of spice is almost as old as human civilization.

Do you know who is the first one realized and used spices?

Ancient Egyptian was the first one in all over the world who used spices. Spices were very important in rites and mummification/ embalming. Until now we can't decipher the mummification secret. But when scientists analyzed mummification materials, they found them contain some spices as: cumin, nutmeg, anise, cinnamon, marjoram and mastic.

Arabs from early ages worked as mediators in spices tread between East and west. And from about 1000 B.C they monopolized that tread and gained a lot of wealth, for their skills in the desert roads. They used donkey caravans which replaced with camels / dromedaries( جمل ذو سنم واحد). One camel can carry about 200 km and cover about 35 km a day. It tolerates hunger and thirsty.

Originally, the Arabs bought cinnamon from Chinese or Javanese merchants. They retained their monopoly on nutmeg and cinnamon by telling the most bizarre stories to the ancient Greeks and Romans. One of which is about the very dangerous voyage to obtain spices. They told that prey bird used to build their nests with cinnamon sticks. These nests are on an inaccessible mountains. So they offered a lot of donkey meat to prey bird which carry them up to the nests. But the nests were not built to bear the weight of the meat, so they fall to the ground. The Arabs collect what they can very quirky before the birds kill them. In the first century AD the learned Roman Pliny debunked these tall tales.

The search for a cheaper way to obtain spices from the East led to the great Age of Exploration and the discovery of the New World. In 1497 the Portuguese navigator Vasco de Gama discovered a sea route around the southern tip of Africa, eventually reaching on the southwest coast of India in 1498. De Gama returned from his voyage with a cargo of nutmegs, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and peppercorns.

During the Middle Ages, spices were as valuable in Europe as gold. Fierce competition burnt among European nations for control of the spice trade. The lack of refrigeration and poor standards of hygiene meant that food often spoiled quickly. Spices were important to mask the flavor of food that was far from fresh. At various times, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish, and English established monopolies over various parts of the spice trade. UK extended its empire and built a colony in India turn to completely occupation. Until Gandhi opponent it.

You see now in South America counties as: British Guiana and French Guiana.

In our era spices also very important. It involved in medicine and cosmetics, besides its delicious test in food.

Spices Vocabulary in Arabic[edit | edit source]

  • يانسون anise
  • ورق لاورو bay leaves
  • حبهان - هيل cardamom
  • فلفل أحمر حراق cayenne
  • شطة chili powder/pepper
  • قرفة cinnamon
  • قرنفل cloves
  • كزبرة coriander
  • كمون cumin
  • كارى curry
  • شمر fennel
  • زنجبيل ginger
  • فلفل أسود Black Pepper
  • فلفل أبيض White Pepper
  • كركم Turmeric = CURCUMA
  • زعتر Thyme
  • زعفران SAFFRON
  • ريحان Basil
  • 7 توابل 7 spices
  • مريمية Sage
  • روز مارى – إكليل الجبل Rosemary
  • سماق – زر الورد Sumac
  • جوزة الطيب NUTMEG
  • مستكة MASTIC
  • بابريكا- فلفل أرنائوطى paprika
  • بردقوش / مردقوش marjoram

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