Its flavor has a nutty, bittersweet sharpness with a hint of citrus, pepper, and anise (mild licorice). The caraway seed’s high concentration of natural essential oils gives the spice its unique flavor profile.
What does caraway seed resemble?
Caraway seeds have a slightly nutty and bittersweet sharpness, as well as a hint of citrus and pepper, resulting in a distinctive taste combination. The abundance of natural essential oils in caraway seeds also adds to their distinctive taste character.
In defense of caraway (she is, after all, a spice trader), Erd asserts that the spice’s history, if not glorious, is notable. She claims that caraway was the earliest condiment in Europe. There is evidence that lake homes in Switzerland stretch back at least 5,000 years.
- During their conquests, the Romans are credited for spreading the seeds throughout Europe, and it has been cultivated in Europe from Sicily to Scandinavia since the Middle Ages.
- Erd states that the earliest applications of caraway were therapeutic.
- In German medical texts dating back to the 12th century, it is described as a stomach tonic and a treatment for flatulence and colic.
Caraway’s function in the kitchen extends far beyond rye bread or even German cuisine. This plant belongs to the same family as carrots, dill, fennel, and parsley. It has a long history of usage in Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisine, as well as in North African cuisine, most notably in harissa, a spicy chili paste used to flavor soups, couscous, and stews.
In baking, caraway appears in biscuits and cakes, notably some kinds of Irish soda bread and British seed cake, where it is incorporated into a batter similar to that of a poundcake. It’s possible that my passion for caraway originates from the fact that my Italian mother never used it in her cuisine.
On family day visits to New York City, I appreciated it most in the overstuffed pastrami on rye sandwiches I bought from Carnegie Deli. During this time of year, when March’s winds might feel more merciless than January’s snow and ice, I frequently cook using caraway.
I enjoy its strong flavor, somewhat bitter aftertaste, and the way it enlivens dull meals such as potatoes and cabbage. One of my favorite dishes using caraway is a meal called heartland brisket, which is as comfortable as the name suggests. And, somewhat unconventionally, in my recipe for whole-wheat fettuccine with cabbage, cream, and pancetta, I use caraway as the predominant spice.
The aforementioned British seed cake, which is on the sweeter side, is simple to prepare and makes a pleasant late-winter afternoon snack when served with fig jam and a cup of hot tea. I believe it is time to restore romance to caraway. Who can say? Perhaps it will pay back in kind.
What complements caraway well?
Caraway seeds pair particularly well with European foods, such as German rye breads, sauerkraut, sausages, and potato salads. Additionally, it is frequently found in Serbian scones and cheeses, Middle Eastern desserts, and harissa sauce. It goes exceptionally well with cabbage, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, onion, and beetroot.
A number of caraway chemicals have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities ( 2 ). Inflammation is a normal body reaction, but persistent inflammation can lead to a variety of illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Do caraway seeds aid in weight loss?
Caraway seeds may be an excellent addition to a balanced diet in order to control cravings, lower appetite, and promote weight reduction with little effort. According to a 2013 research published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, individuals who supplemented with caraway extract for 90 days had a substantial reduction in weight and body fat despite no additional dietary or activity modifications.