What is cumin?

2014-07-11 10:48:55


When we said cumin's been used for milennia, we weren't kidding. It's mentioned in the Bible for seasoning breads and soups, and was even used to pay tithes to priests. Ancient Greeks and Romans loved using cumin in their cooking. Ever seen an Egyptian mummy in a museum? You saw cumin — ground cumin was one of the ingredients used in the mummification process. Cumin was very popular in Europe in the Middle Ages, particularly because it could be used as a substitute for black pepper, which was much rarer and more expensive.

Cumin is a very common food ingredient for cook.You might be familiar with recipes for Mexican dishes calling for cumin, but if you've been flexing your cooking muscles lately you're seeing it in Indian, North African, Mediterranean and even some Chinese dishes. With its peppery flavor and aroma, cumin is perfectly suited for adding warm, somewhat nutty notes to all sorts of dishes.

As the seed of a warm-climate herb which native to Egypt, Cumin has been used for milennia in cuisines worldwide. Ever made up your own curry poeder? If so, you must have noticed that there's a lot of cumin in curry powder! In fact, apart from India's curries, cumin is also a component in the garam masala spice blend. Cumin is common in Mexican cooking, often used in tandem with chili powder — in fact, most pre-packaged "chili powder" you buy at the supermarket has cumin in it. The Szechuan region of China utilizes cumin, and the Dutch put cumin in Leyden cheese.


 

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