WHAT IS CUMIN?
A member of the parsley family, the seeds of this flowering plant are ground into a spice of the same name. Tropical in nature, it grows up to a foot and a half (50 cm) in height with branches that have an elegant, spindly look to them. Similar in appearance to caraway seeds, cumin has a stronger odor and taste making it a popular addition to stews in Eastern and Western cuisine. However ground it is much stronger then more popular spices like cinnamon, so use it sparingly when cooking.
WHY IS CUMIN GOOD FOR YOU?
In India chewing cumin seeds like bubblegum after a meal isn’t uncommon. In addition to being thought of as a digestive aid, this spice is rich in anti-oxidants. It’s also a good source of iron, manganese, phosphorous and magnesium.
WHEN IS CUMIN IN SEASON?
This plant requires a long growing season and a hot summer to flower. Start to finish you’ll need at least 4 months to be safe. However be careful not to plant too early as this plant is very susceptible to frost.
HOW SHOULD CUMIN BE STORED?
The seeds can be frozen for up to a year (in a sealed bag to prevent freezer-burn). Ground, store this spice in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and it should keep for up to 6 months.
CAN YOU MUMMIFY SOMEONE BY FEEDING THEM A LOT OF CUMIN?
No, actually quite the opposite. It’s true that this spice was used by ancient Egyptians when mummifying the recently deceased. However it was the anti-bacterial nature of the spice that made it an important ingredient. When you have a body decomposing in front of you, any anti-bacterial help is appreciated!