Caraway - How To Use

(Also Known as Carvies, Persian Cumin, Meridian Fennel) 


Think menthol, warming and earthy, and you might think caraway, often considered the magic ingredient in rye bread and pastries. Frequently these tiny brown seeds are found in German cooking. Caraway seeds are a popular staple in Irish Soda bread and the Irish fruit loaf traditionally eaten at Halloween, "Barm Brack".  Native to central Europe and Asia. Once ground, the caraway flavour like that of allspice can diminish quickly. For that very reason, we always ground our caraway in small batches. Caraway is part of the carrot family. A complex warming taste found in many Central and Eastern European dishes also found in the North African chilli paste harissa. Like those of our blends, it is important to store caraway in a cool, dark, airtight environment. 


Caraway is high in iron, magnesium, copper and calcium, and loaded with fibre. It is a rich source of antioxidants. Caraway seeds have long been used as a digestive aid and are often associated with medicinal properties that calm irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Historically in the Middle Ages, caraway was used as a digestive aid to prevent the feeling of bloatedness after a meal. As a tea, it can be brewed in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes to help with menstrual cramps, flatulence and digestion. A German university in 2016 named caraway as the plant of the year regards its scientific importance in medicinal use. Caraway has a spearmint aroma when it is milled, and typically it is found in mouthwash, toothpaste and chewing gum.

Interesting Facts

  • At a Swiss compound dating back 5,000 years, archaeologists discovered caraway seeds in waste pits. Unbelievably the Egyptians have written about caraway seeds in 1500 BC in an Egyptian herbal encyclopaedia. The Egyptians used to place caraway seeds in the tombs to ward off evil spirits.
  • It was the Romans who brought caraway seeds to Northern Europe.
  • Through the middle ages, caraway was a common spice found in meat, game, bean and cabbage dishes.
  • The Germans have an infamous sweet liqueur flavoured with caraway, cumin and fennel called Kummel. The word Kummel means caraway in German. Oddly, Kummel is popular in British Golf clubs as a vice to steady golfers' nerves. Its nickname is "putting mixture". Legend states that placing caraway in your lover's pocket will keep them faithful, but we are hopeful that you won't need to follow up on this myth. 

Chief Flavour Compound

S-carvone: (spicy, menthol and liquorice) aromatic compounds (terpene) also found in dill and spearmint. 

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