Spinach comes from a central and southwestern Asian gene center. It was unknown to the Mediterranean world but is now well established there because of Arab ingenuity.
Spinach, which does not grow well in hot weather, was cultivated in the hot Mediterranean by Arab agronomists through sophisticated irrigation techniques in 8th century CE. The 1st written evidence of spinach in the Mediterranean is in three 10-century works: the medical work by al-Razi and agricultural treatises by Ibn Wahshiya and Qustus al-Rumi.
Spinach became a popular vegetable in the Arab Mediterranean and arrived in Spain by the 12th century where Arab agronomist Ibn al-'Awwam called it the ‘captain of leafy greens.’
When spinach reached France it became a popular vegetable, behind cabbage. In Italy, cooks integrated spinach with Muslim flavoring techniques in dishes known as saur. France, Spain, Italy and all other countries whence it spread to from there (including America and South Africa) all got spinach from the Muslims.
In Turkey spinach was known by the 13th century and served with meat and covered in garlic-yogurt sauce, a dish popular with the Muslim Seljuk Turks.
Another gift of the Muslims to the West. This offers a glimpse into the advanced technology and knowledge of the early Muslim world that helped Europe’s advance