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Caraway spice

What is Caraway?

Caraway as a spice is used in cooking in the preparation of various dishes, as well as in other industries. As a spice, dry seeds of caraway are used, which are consumed whole or ground. Unlike many other spices, caraway has a taste and smell that does not mix well with other spices, so it is rarely included in seasonings, but is used as a separate spice. There are two subspecies of cultivated caraway - black and white caraway.

Black and White Caraway

Black Caraway

Black caraway as a spice is used throughout the world in various culinary recipes. Massively black caraway is grown in Poland, Holland and Germany, from where it is exported to other countries. The same countries are the largest producers and suppliers of essential oil. Black caraway is also known as northern or biennial caraway, wild or field anise, German cumin.

White Caraway

White caraway differs from black caraway not only in light color, but also has a refined aroma, which is weaker than the smell of black caraway. When replacing black with white caraway, it must be taken twice as much as indicated in the recipe. White caraway is used mainly in the Middle East and is almost never exported to other regions. The main producers of white caraway are Turkey, Syria, Morocco and Egypt.

The Use of Caraway in Cooking

In cooking, both dried caraway seeds and the essential oil obtained from them are used, in addition, young shoots and leaves of caraway can be used fresh in countries where they are available. Fresh caraway leaves can be added to salads and serve as an excellent spice for cheeses, pâtés and other dishes. But mostly caraway is available as dry seeds, whole or ground. The smell of caraway is unique in its own way and does not combine with the aromas of other spices, therefore it is rarely used as part of seasonings. The only exceptions are some spices - coriander, anise and fennel. Caraway gives the dishes to which it is added during cooking, a peculiar, incomparable taste and aroma. Caraway is used in the cooking of bread, used to preserve vegetables, added to sauces, soups and meat dishes, caraway is used in the production of confectionery and alcoholic beverages.

The Use of Caraway in Medicine

For medical purposes, common caraway seeds are used, as well as the essential oil of caraway obtained from them. Caraway is used in traditional medicine in many countries of the world, caraway is also widely used in folk medicine. In addition, caraway is used in veterinary medicine and the production of perfumes.

The Benefits and Harms of Caraway

The benefits of caraway for human health have long been known and can be used as a remedy for many diseases. Caraway normalizes the digestion process - enhances the secretion of bile, stimulates other glands involved in the digestion process, and caraway is also used for flatulence. Caraway, in combination with other plant components, is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, hepatitis and other diseases. Essential oil of caraway is used as an antihelminthic and antiseptic. Caraway is also widely used in folk medicine - it has long been used as part of various decoctions, which were used for diseases of the gallbladder and spasms of the digestive system, for headaches and indigestion, for pneumonia and bronchitis. Harm caraway can be caused to the body with individual intolerance to this spice.

Scientific Name of Caraway

Common caraway (Carum carvi), a species of the genus Carum (Carum) of the Umbrella family (Apiaceae).

Caraway and Its Cultivation

Caraway is common in the Balkan Peninsula, in the Mediterranean countries and North Africa, in the Middle East and Asia Minor. When spreading around the world, varieties of caraway appeared - black and white caraway. Currently, the bulk of black caraway is grown in Holland, Germany and Poland - this spice is widely used around the world. White caraway is not so popular - it is grown in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Syria. White caraway is used much less frequently than black caraway, however, it is popular in countries in the Middle East. There is also field caraway, which is a wild subspecies of common caraway, such caraway is much more fragrant than cultivars that are artificially cultivated.

In What Form Can You Buy Caraway?

You can buy caraway in the form of whole dried seeds of this plant. You can also buy ground caraway, which is easier to use in some recipes. But it is better to buy caraway in its entirety, and if necessary, grind it before use, since caraway is included in some recipes in its entirety, in addition, the taste and aroma of this spice will be better preserved.