It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s fruit!
Caraway’s a fruit? Not a seed?
Raw, this mild-mannered fruit blends quietly in the background. Your recipe’s in trouble? You need pop? Rushing into an oven, or pan, it gets TOASTED, and emerges as the rich, aromatic, daring SUPER CARAWAY!
Caraway is not a seed. It’s a fruit! So, if it took you a bit to find it in the Spicedex™, we apologize. It is the crunchy aromatic In German, and Jewish, baking, that iconic crunch in a “deli rye” bread, or atop a rye bagel. It’s the nice bite in a shot of Aquavit.
Raw, they have a pungent, anise-like flavor, and aroma, derived from the three key essential oils: Carvone, limonene, and anethole.
Toasted, caraway is a flavorful addition to baking, and salads. The earthy fennel-anise-esque taste remains mild, until the seed is cooked, or dry roasted. When toasted the pungency erodes, and a warmer, mellow, lightly anise flavor, with a really pleasant crunch, kick in.
Some people’s brains interpret their essential oils as bitter, or camphorous.
Native to Asia Minor, Europe, and North Africa. Scandinavia, Holland, Germany, and Eastern Europe all became destinations for caraway seed imports. Today, the world’s largest exporter is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom.
In Sanskit, the seed was called karavi, based on its origins in Karia (Carum – Latin), in what was Asia Minor. As the seed was carried, and traded, northward, into Europe, the name became “caraway” probably because of the Arabic derivation of its name, al-karawya.
English usage of caraway seed began in 1440 ACE. Use of the seed actually dates back to about 2179 BCE, or longer. Romans moved trade of the seeds into Europe. It became a popular spice for peasant foods throughout Europe.
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