Caraway – The Delicate Biennial Plant With Medicinal Properties
Caraway is of the family Apiaceae, also known as the parsley family, the botanical name is Carum carvi. Although we call their produce seeds they are most correctly called fruits, and the plant has white umbrella shaped flowers.
Caraway has an aroma reminiscent of fennel and anise with a faint hint of orange peel. The taste is initially minty with anise, eucalyptus, and a slight nuttiness.
The plant is indigenous to all of Europe and also found as a native plant in North Africa, India and Asia with the plant growing well in temperate regions with Holland as the world’s largest producer. The plant also grows in such places as Bhutan, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Syria, and the United States.
The plant was buried with their dead by the ancient Egyptian physician priests. Writings were found in other cultures speaking of the positive uses for its medicinal effects on digestion, flatulence and the internal organs. The plant was also an object of positive folklore.
The highest grade of the plant is from Holland with high grades from Bhutan, Canada, India and Syria.
Storage of the seeds should be in an airtight package away from extremes of heat, light, and humidity. The ground variety of the seeds should only be purchased if it is to be used quickly since the ground version loses its potency rapidly.
The plant’s seeds are great in certain fruits such as apples, and pears, is used in pork and sausages and cheeses, cabbage and sauerkraut. The leaves are known to flavor soups and stews, and the seeds are also known for their use in breads and cakes.
The seeds are still known today to have medicinal purposes to ease heartburn and to reduce colic.
For other information about caraway click on the link to Wikipedia.org
For some great sections on herbs and spices some great references are:
• The Spice and Herb Bible – Second Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill
• The Food Encyclopedia by Jacques L. Rolland and Carol Sherman with other contributors
Herbs and Spices
Cooking Easy Recipes Home