Caraway • seeds

 

Sometimes called Persian cumin, caraway seeds are famous as the spice that gives rye bread its distinctive flavor, but they're also terrific when added to liqueurs, cheeses, and curries. 

 

What does Caraway taste like?

Caraway's very distinctive flavor has a pungent, mild anise-like flavor, that adds a subtle licorice hint to many dishes.  The highly aromatic caraway taste is sweet, earthy, with a hint of citrus and pepper.

Caraway seeds are a cross between fennel and cumin, making them a versatile ingredient which can be kneaded into brown breads (especially ryes), rubbed into pork belly, as well as in soups, potatoes, borscht, or used to transform simple braised cabbage into something spectacular.  Caraway seeds also add interesting flavor to meats in the form of a dry-rub, or mixed or to add complexity to soft cheeses.  Caraway seeds are also used in flavoring curries, sausages, vegetables, and even liqueurs, such as the Scandinavian spirit aquavit.  Caraway seeds pair well with garlic, pork, and cabbage.  It’s great news for those who love earthy, spiced-anise flavors, adding an easy complexity to dishes.

Caraway works well in combination with allspice, anise seed, brown mustard, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, turmeric and yellow mustard. 

Lightly toasting the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat will release the oils and allow the aromas and flavors to bloom.  Toasted caraway seeds are a flavorful addition to loaves of bread and salads, but the earthy fennel and anise taste is mild until the seed is cooked or dry roasted. To toast caraway seeds, place a small dry skillet over medium-high heat and add the seeds. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and stir frequently.  The seeds should become fragrant, at which point you should remove them from the heat and let them reach room temperature before use. 

Ways to use Caraway seeds include: 

  • Add caraway seeds to potato salad or coleslaw.
  • Add a pinch to any tomato-based sauce or soup.
  • Sprinkle over roasted potatos or sweet potatos.
  • Mix into cheese dip.
  • Sprinkle onto baked apples to enhance the flavor.
  • Add to shortbread cookies or Irish soda bread cookies.
  • Use to flavor beef goulash or kielbasa stew.
  • Add to any recipe that includes cabbage.
  • Use with a pork roast or pork chops.
  • We love it with poached fish, and with polish sausage dishes. 

 

We get our Caraway from Czech Republic or Finland – two of the biggest global producers. We provide whole Caraway seeds, and Caraway powder by request.  Caraway is one of the spices that has a high volatile oil content and once ground, the flavor starts to dissipate fairly quickly. We recommend using Caraway seeds to help maintain freshness and the best flavor.  

Storage: Caraway seeds should be stored in a dark, airtight container, to prevent them from drying out, and to keep them as flavorful as possible.

To read more about how Caraway seeds health benefits are used in traditional medicine, click here.

 

Recipe:  Toasted Caraway Sour Cream

1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

Toast the caraway seeds in a small pan set over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool down. Then transfer to a spice grinder; pulse until coarsely ground. Stir the ground caraway, sour cream, mustard, and honey together in a small bowl. Add black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding any solids, and refrigerate until needed.

 


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