An aromatic spice with a distinctive bitter flavor and strong, warm aroma due to its abundant oil content. Cumin “seeds” are actually the small dried fruit of an annual plant in the parsley family. Native to the Mediterranean, cumin is hotter to the taste, lighter in color, and larger than caraway, another spice it’s sometimes confused with. Sold whole or ground, the seeds come in three colors: amber, white or black. Amber is most widely available, but the black has such a complex flavor it should not be substituted for the other two. Cumin is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, and is one of the main ingredients in curry powder.
People take cumin for digestion problems including diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).
How to Store/Prepare:
Store airtight in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Matches Well With:
Beans, chicken, couscous, curry, eggplant, fish, lamb, lentils, peas, pork, potatoes, rice, sausages, soups, stews, eggs.