Cumin 101

Throughout the world, cumin is second in popularity to black pepper.  It's pungent flavor is a must in Asian, Indian, North African, Middle Eastern and Latin American cooking, most notably Brazil.  Cumin is a member of the parsley family.  Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds in that they are oblong and ridged in shape as well as being yellow-brownish in color.    Cumin is however hotter in taste, lighter in color and larger than caraway.

Cumin has been in use since ancient times.  Originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean, cumin is mentioned in both the New and Old Testament of the Bible.   Ancient Greeks kept cumin in a special container at the table, much like we do with pepper today.  Use it as is or roast at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to mellow cumin's flavor.

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