Why is Spinach Also Called Persian Green? (ANSWERED)

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Why is Spinach Also Called Persian Green?

Not all questions about food come down to flavor and nutrition. As in any area of interest, there are some things that just make us scratch our heads. It is these bits of trivia that set the simply knowledgeable apart from the experts.

One such is, Why is spinach also called Persian Green. Let’s learn a little about history.

So Why is Spinach Also Called Persian Green?

Persian green

It is believed that spinach was initially bred from Spinacia tetranda, a wild green native to Nepal. It is recorded that in 647 AD, the Chinese began to cultivate it, and they were the first to call spinach “Persian Green.” 

Why the Chinese coined the phrase Persian Green has been lost to time, but one theory is because traders from the Middle East highly prized the vegetable. It was these Muslim merchants, in the form of the Moors, who brought both the plant and the name to Europe.  

Does Spinach Have Another Name?

Swiss chard

Spinach is also called Persian Green, as discussed above. Many people also use the name  ‘Swiss chard’ interchangeably with spinach, but this is inaccurate.

Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) is a member of the beet family and can be grown year-round. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a cool-weather crop that doesn’t stand up to hot weather.

True spinach is also milder flavored than Swiss chard and has more delicate leaves.