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Re: Maize origins [was re: "Corn" in medieval Europe]

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal (mcv@pi.net) wrote:

: Grano turco for "maize" fits in with the Catalan names for the cereal,
: "blat de moro" (Moorish wheat), the usual term in Barcelona, Girona
: and Lleida, "moresc" (Moorish [wheat]) in Tarragona,

This is quite interesting, Miguel. So the connection with Turkey was made
in Spanish in two ways, both as "Moorish wheat", and as "Turkish wheat"... 

: "blat de les
: Indies" (wheat from the Indies) in Valencia and the Balears, "blat
: d'India, blat-indi" (wheat from India) in Rossello.  Compare "gall
: d'India, gall dindi" for "turkey".  And English "turkey" itself.
: Before 1492, the term "(blat) moresc" seems to have been used to
: denote a very different kind of cereal, probably buckwheat ("trigo
: morisco" or "trigo sarraceno" in Castillian).

This is also very interesting. It is becoming more clear now that two
basic types of maize were present in Europe in the aftermath of Columbus'
journeys (see the informative latest article by Hu). So you may be
partially right. "Blat moresc" may have been indeed used to denote a
different kind of cereal, but that cereal may have been (rather than
buckwheat) an archaic variety of maize that arrived to the Old World many
centuries before Columbus, and arrived to Europe via Turkey. 

Best regards,


Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
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 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
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