WHAT IS CARAWAY?
This flowering plant above ground is similar in appearance to a carrot (with fine, green leaves that branch out almost like dill). Historically there’s been some confusion between this spice, fennel and cumin. But that also means caraway is a great substitute for them (along with anise). Caraway nicely complements other fresh herbs like dill. However when cooking with whole seeds (toast for more flavor), put them in a cheese cloth or tea bag (for easy seed removal). This spice is used in a surprising number of everyday foods including rye bread, havarti cheese, and in some of our pickled food recipes!
WHY IS CARAWAY GOOD FOR YOU?
It’s often taken orally as a digestive aid, both in minimizing distress and to promote intestinal flora health. The National Institute of Health confirmed that spice does have “anti-obesity” effects (a.k.a. it helps you lose weight).
WHEN IS CARAWAY IN SEASON?
This is a biennial (every other year) plant that has a summer through fall harvest season.
HOW SHOULD CARAWAY BE STORED?
An airtight container stored either in your cupboard or refrigerator is best. Like most seeds, they are low in moisture so can be frozen in an air tight container as well (don’t forget to date the package). In terms of storing just ground caraway seeds – don’t. Instead store the seeds whole and grind them (thawed out) when you make the recipe.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO TOAST CARAWAY SEEDS?
Caraway seeds are famous for their subtle, anise aroma and flavor. Lightly toasting the seeds (on a low heat for just a few minutes) will really bring out this unique taste, allowing the spice to stand out in dishes bursting with other flavors. However be careful, the oils that give this spice its unique flavor can evaporate if overcooked. Also, to get the maximum bang for your buck grind the toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle.