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Caraway seeds

Caraway, also called carroway, meridian fennel, and Persian cumin, refers to the plant Carum carvi. It is often confused with cumin, and both belong to the same family of spices.



All parts of the caraway plant are edible. The leaves are delicate and green with an mild and dill-like flavor.[1][2] The roots are similar to carrots and parsnips. They have a light yellow color and a mild flavor. Caraway seeds are small and crescent-shaped,[2][1][3] and they may be confused with the closely-related fennel and cumin seeds.[3] They are aromatic, containing s-carvone, limonene, and anethole, with a flavor of anise and pepper.[1][3][4]

Selection and storage


The young leaves should be stored in the fridge after picking and washed before use. The roots can be stored like potatoes in a cool, dry place and peeled before use. They seeds should be stored dry in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture.[1][4]



Caraway leaves are aromatic and can be used like parsley or dill as an herb. They go well in salads and can also be used in cooking or as a garnish.



The roots can be cooked much like any other root vegetable. Once peeled, they can be roasted, boiled, and/or incorporated into soups and stews.



Caraway seeds are extremely aromatic and used as a spice in cooking and baking. Especially in Europe, they flavor many dishes, including curries, stews, liqueurs, breads, vegetables, and more.[2][3] One common and well-known caraway-containing food is rye bread.



Caraway can sometimes be substituted by other spices in the same family like cumin, coriander, aniseed, fennel seed, and dill seed.




  1. a b c d Farrimond, Dr Stuart (2018-11-06). The Science of Spice: Understand Flavor Connections and Revolutionize Your Cooking. National Geographic Books. ISBN 978-1-4654-7557-2.
  2. a b c Labensky, Sarah; Martel, Priscilla; Damme, Eddy Van (2015-01-06). On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals, Updated Edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-388675-7.
  3. a b c d Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2014-09-26). Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09183-9.
  4. a b Friberg, Bo (2016-09-13). The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-46629-2.