[Sca-cooks] Atraf al-Tib

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Wed Jan 28 14:20:50 PST 2009

I am given to understand that "lisan" translates as "tongue of."  If that is 
the case, you may be looking for a leaf rather than a nut.  Since my 
knowledge of Middle Eastern languages is extremely limited, I'm loath to 
challenge the erudition of skilled translators, but I would be interested in 
how they arrived at their various translations, if only to keep me from 


> And finally the mystery ingredient:
> 12. lisan al-'asafir
> -- Arberry gave beech nuts, which is highly unlikely for several reasons 
> (see below);
> -- Perry gives common ash, which has some potential;
> -- Nasrallah gives elm tree seeds, which i question - i should write to 
> her again (we were corresponding during the summer) and ask for more 
> details.
> I wonder if it might not be an ash-like plant, one of the many Zanthoxylum 
> spp. The leaves are said to look rather like those of the ash tree, and 
> the leaves as well as the berries/seeds are used as a seasoning. Besides 
> being spicy and hot, the seeds also have a numbing quality, which is an 
> essential part of their usage.
> --
> Urtatim (that's urr-tah-TEEM)
> the persona formerly known as Anahita

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