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What are Caraway Seeds?

caraway seeds


A seasoning consisting of brown crescent-shaped seeds popular to German cooking.

What do caraway seeds taste like?

Carraway seeds are a spice highly aromatic and warming with a flavor of mild anise, citrus, pepper, and a nutty, earthy-sweet aroma.

Where do caraway seeds come from?

A member of the parsley family, the spice is the dried fruit of the caraway plant. The caraway plant or carum carvi is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. 

Caraway Seed Uses

Popular for baking, caraway seeds are best toasted before using to release their full flavor. Caraway can add complexity to baked desserts or to cut through fatty meat dishes. 

The spice can be used in dishes including salad, bread, cheeses, curries, sausages, pickles, soups, vegetables, potatoes, and spice rubs.

Caraway Seed Substitutes 

  • Cumin: hotter than caraway but can be substituted in savory recipes.
  • Dill: can be used in baking to mimic a licorice flavoring. 
  • Anise: similar flavor when cooked in cakes to provide licorice notes.

Caraway Seed Compliments and Pairings 

This seasoning is often paired with other popular germanic ingredients including cabbage, pork, bread, garlic, cheese, vegetables, onion, mushroom, beef, beetroot, potato, sausage, carrot, parsley, cumin, ham, and sausages.

Caraway Seed Expiration and Storage

  • Seed: store in an airtight container away from direct light for three to four years.
  • Ground: store in an airtight container away from direct light for one to two years.

Fun Facts About Caraway Seeds

  • Caraway is known as ‘wild cumin’ and both names are derived from the Latin cuminum which has led to the herbs sometimes being mistaken for one another.
  • Caraway seeds were believed to be protective and could ward off witches.

Popular Caraway Seed Recipes

  • Caraway cake
  • Cabbage and caraway
  • Rye bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • British seed cake
  • Aquavit
  • Goulash
  • Reuben sandwich
  • Caraway sausages
  • Harissa 

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

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