How Do You Say "Tomato" in Egyptian?

A Talk with Dr. Anny Gaul
Mar 27, 2023 at -

A Talk with Anny Gaul

The word for "tomato" varies across Arabic dialects, and even within Egypt there is more than one way to say tomato. As a food indigenous to the Americas, the tomato is a relative newcomer to Egyptian cuisine, however, and so the evolution of an Egyptian vernacular lexicon to describe it (and its byproducts) is embedded in modern Egyptian history. This talk tells the story of how the tomato became domesticated as uniquely Egyptian with a history of cultivation and processing narrated through three Egyptian Arabic terms: quta, tamatim, and salsa. 

Anny Gaul is a cultural historian of food and gender in the Arabic-speaking world. She is currently an assistant professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research has been published in Global Food History, Gender & History, and the Journal of Women's History, among other venues. She is the co-editor of Making Levantine Cuisine: Modern Foodways of the Eastern Mediterranean (University of Texas Press, 2021) and is currently writing a book about the history of the tomato in Egypt. You can follow her cooking and research on her blog, Cooking with Gaul.

Free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.