Caraway

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Caraway Seeds are a classic European spice. Caraway seeds are dark brown seeds with 5 strongly defined ribs from end to end.

Caraway seeds have a warm, earthy aroma. Caraway tastes warm, earthy, bittersweet with hints of anise and fennel. Some suggest there to be hints of orange peel.

Caraway's distinctive flavour is popular throughout European cooking. Caraway has long been known for its ability to aid digestion and is often added to foods that are difficult to digest - cabbage (e.g. in sauerkraut), duck and goose. Caraway seeds are spread through rye breads like pumpernickel, cheese like Munster and seed cakes. Turkish recipes that call for black caraway mean nigella, while Indian recipes sometimes mistranslate caraway for cumin.

If you cannot find caraway in your cupboard, you can substitute it for cumin for a different but close enough taste.

Developing the digestive theme, caraway seeds are the flavour underlying the liqueur, kümmel.

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN: 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN: 9781465435989.