Comparing Spice Boxes at Dar Anahita


Here is a comparison of the spices and herbs used by al-Baghdadi in his Kitâb al-Tabîkh and in the anonymous Andalusian cookbook.


SPICE
Percentage
of recipes in
al-Baghdadi
Percentage
of recipes in
al-Andalusi
Anise1%<1%
Asafoetida, "leaves" of1%not used
Atraf al-Tib7%not used
Camphor1%1.5%
Caraway3%13%
Cardamom1%< 1%
Celery Seednot used< 1%
Cinnamontype not specified - 78% Total 52.5%
Ceylon 37.5%
Chinese 15.0%
Coriander seed87%41%
Cumin61%17%
Cloves<2%6%
Galingalenot used4%
Ginger21%8%
Long Peppernot used< 1%
Mastic Gum45%almost 1%
Musk1%> 2%
Mustard<4%1.75%
Nigella4%< 1%
Nutmegnot used< 1%
Pepper Corns41%73%
Saffron30%25%
Spikenard<1%7%
Sumac10%not used
"usual seasonings" - Baghdadi
"fine spices" - Andalusi
most likely coriander, cinnamon, cumin, and pepper
10%??
HERB
Percentage
of recipes in
al-Baghdadi
Percentage
of recipes in
al-Andalusi
Basil not used >1%
Bee Balm not used <1%
Cilantro / Green Coriander 11% 41%
Celery Leaves 7% 1.5%
Citron Leaves 1% 14%
Dill 7%< 1%
Fennel Stalks1% 12%
Lavender not used 15%
Mint 23% 10%
Rue not used21%
Saatar/ Zaatar/ Thyme 3% 20%
herbs unspecified
cilantro and another one or two
4%??


Conclusion - Comparing The Two Spice Boxes

Here are my conclusions, based on a comparison of the spices and herbs used in both cookbooks.

Al-Baghdadi uses:

  • Asafoetida
  • Atraf al-Tib
  • Sumac

and the Andalusian doesn't.

The Andalusian uses:

  • Basil
  • Bee Balm (melissa)
  • Celery Seed
  • Galangal
  • Lavender
  • Long Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Rue

and al-Baghdadi doesn't

 

Baghdadi uses what i consider significantly more:

  • Cinnamon (1.5X)
  • Coriander (2X)
  • Cumin (almost 4X)
  • Ginger (almost 3X)
  • Mastic (45X)
  • Mint (2X)

than the Andalusian, although it does use significant amounts of the first three listed

The Andalusian uses what i consider significantly more:

  • Caraway (more than 4X)
  • Pepper (almost 2X)
  • Spikenard (7X)
  • Cilantro (almost 4X)
  • Citron Leaves (14X)
  • Fennel Stalks (12X)
  • Thyme / Saatar / Zaatar (7X)

than al-Baghdadi.

So
recipes from the Andalusian cookbook might be hotter and greener.

And
recipes from Baghdadi's cookbook might be warmer and spicier.


Sample the Spicebox of al-Baghdadi

Sample the Andalusi Spicebox

the doorway

Step through the doorway back to the Front Hall Directory to Dar Anahita
Or go back to al-Iwan, the Dining Niche



I enjoy corresponding with other SCA members who have Andalusian, Near or Middle Eastern, or Central Asian personae.