I am looking for a word for "cuisine". For example, I don't know how to say the following in Latin:

I like Nepalese cuisine, but I haven't found any suitable restaurants here.

I don't know which word to use for "cuisine". The literal meaning could be anything like "kitchen", "food", "food tradition", or something similar, but I don't know what would be an idiomatic choice.

To continue with my example, I would like to fill in the blank in the following:

______ Nepalianum mihi maxime placet, sed tabernam aptam nondum hic inveni.

What would be a good choice of words here?

  • Cuisine is just a fancy word for prepared food. Why not simply cibus Nepalanus?
    – Tom Cotton
    Feb 9, 2018 at 15:11
  • @TomCotton That is a good option. Can you post that as an answer, so that people can vote and we find a popular favourite?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Feb 9, 2018 at 15:17

3 Answers 3


According to OLD, coquina means 'The art of cookery.' It's (ultimately) the origin of, e.g., Italian cucina, which means both 'kitchen' and 'cuisine.'

Update: I also see that, for culina, which has 'kitchen' as its primary meaning, OLD gives 'Provision of food or the food provided, board, fare' as definition 2 (a) (emphasis added).

So, given that the word cuisine can refer to (a) a specific style, method, or tradition of cooking; or (b) the food that's prepared in a certain style or tradition, or by a certain method, the best Latin word depends on the precise meaning desired. For (a), it looks to me as though coquina is the best choice; whereas for (b), either culina or Tom Cotton's suggestion of cibus is appropriate (I myself would probably go with cibus).

  • ... as indeed of French cuisine, which has the same two meanings. The Romance etymological dictionaries derive these not directly from coquina, but from "low" Latin cucina.
    – fdb
    Feb 9, 2018 at 18:45
  • @fdb And even German Küche has both meanings, for what it's worth.
    – cnread
    Feb 9, 2018 at 21:31
  • And Dutch keuken.
    – Cerberus
    Feb 9, 2018 at 22:31

Cuisine is just a fancy word for prepared food. Why not simply cibus Nepalanus?


Coquina is the feminine of coquinus “pertaining to cooking”, and is used, in late texts only, to mean “place for cooking, kitchen”, but also “the art of cooking”, in effect “coquina ars”. The forms in modern languages derive from Vulgar Latin cocina, continued by French cuisine, Italian cocina, but also by Germanic forms like kitchen, Küche, etc. It is, however, debated whether English kitchen was inherited from proto-West Germanic (which had it from Latin) or whether it was taken directly from cocina in the Anglo-Saxon period. For the semantics it is noteworthy that cuisine, Küche etc. retain both attested meanings of coquina, while kitchen has only the former.

But to reply to your question: Unless we are insisiting on absolutely classical latinitas, I see no problem with the late Latin coquina.

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