Brand: Naturevibe Botanicals
- As a biennial plant, caraway won’t mature (produce fruit) until the second growing season, though its leaves in the first year can be a nice addition to a soup or salad. The caraway plant can grow up to three feet tall, with delicate, feathery leaves. Caraway will bloom white or pink flowers from May to July before producing its fruit.
- Caraway seeds are not seeds at all. The caraway plant produces its seeds in achenes. Achenes are a type of fruit defined by its simple, dried form – and that they contain only one seed. So technically, the “seeds” we use from the caraway plant are actually an achene, or fruit. The fruit (and leaves) of the caraway plant are very similar to other plants in the celery family, which is why caraway is sometimes confused with fennel or cumin.
- Caraway, however, is a distinct plant. Caraway seeds are also distinct, though only upon close inspection. The crescent shaped caraway seed is darker in color and smoother than the cumin seed. Caraway seeds are also bitterer than cumin. The aroma of caraway seeds can be described as slightly minty or peppery.
- Caraway seeds have an anise-like (mild licorice) flavor, though it is more complex and less pronounced than the anise flavor in fennel seeds. Like fennel seeds, caraway can be used as an anise seed substitute, but they do have a distinct flavor of their own.Caraway seeds also have an herbal bitterness with pronounced aromatic qualities. This is why caraway seeds are a common savory spice in traditional European cooking and baking.
- The unique flavor profile of caraway seeds is due to the high concentration of natural essential oils. Together with the dense supply of antioxidants, these volatile oils are behind many of the medicinal and health benefits of caraway.
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►Caraway, sometimes referred to as Meridian Fennel of Persian Cumin, is a biennial flowering plant in the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family. The Apiaceae family includes celery, carrot, fennel, and parsley varieties, notable for their hollow stems and aromatic qualities.
►Caraway is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It grows wild in damp meadows, pastures, and roadsides. The caraway plant has also been widely cultivated, so it can be easily grown in your Hildegarden at home.
►People have been using caraway as both a culinary and medicinal plant for a very long time. In fact, humans began harvesting caraway in the Neolithic period.
►Caraway is popular in traditional German cooking as a seasoning for cabbage dishes, sauerkraut, breads, onion tart, fried potatoes, and much more. The early uses of caraway remain consistent with its use in Germany today. Germans believe that all dishes are easier on the stomach when accompanied by caraway.You can use the whole caraway fruit in dishes to add spice, flavor, and texture. Alternatively, to moderate the flavor, you can cook dishes with caraway fruit and then remove the fruit before serving. Caraway roots harvested (like carrots) in the first year of vegetation can add a special touch to a spring soup.
►You may be familiar with caraway as a spice in breads or ethnic deserts. European, African, and Asian cultures have widely used caraway as a flavoring spice. Typically, caraway seeds are harvested and dried. The seeds are either used whole or ground into a powder.