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Jewish Recipes --> Spices and Ingredients -- > Caraway Seeds

Caraway or Persian cumin (Carum carvi) is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and western Asia.

The plant is similar in appearance to a carrot plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves with thread-like divisions, growing on 20-30 cm stems. The main flower stem is 40-60 cm tall, with small white or pink flowers in umbels. Caraway seeds are crescent-shaped and around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges. It prefers sun and well-drained soil.

Cultivation and uses

The seed, usually used whole, has a pungent, anise-like flavour. The aroma comes from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene. They are used as a spice in breads, liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Scandinavian cuisine, for instance sauerkraut. It is also used to add flavour to cheeses. Akvavit and several liqueurs are also made with caraway, and a tea made from the seeds is good for colic. Caraway seed oil is also used as a fragrance component in soaps, lotions, and perfumes.

The roots may be cooked as a root vegetable like parsnips or carrots.

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods