Cumin seed - Verstegen Algemeen

Cumin seed

Cumin is a spice whose seeds are used in the kitchen. You can recognize cumin by its sharp, bitter taste with a hint of peppermint. When the seed is heated, it gives off more flavour and the seed has a stronger taste.

The origin

Cumin is a spice whose seeds are used in the kitchen. The seeds come from an annual plant that can grow to a height of about 30 cm. In summer the plant has umbels of white or pink flowers. The leaves of the plant are fragrant and have hard hairs. The seeds are boat-shaped with ridges along the length and have different colours, from greenish khaki to light brown. They are about 6-8 mm long and narrow shaped. The annual plant grows mainly in the Middle East and on the Mediterranean Sea. Verstegen gets its herbs at the origin, that is why the Verstegen cumin seed comes from Syria.

Characteristics of cumin seed

Cumin seed is often confused with caraway seed because they are very similar in taste and shape. But caraway seeds are spicier and different in shape. Cumin seeds can be recognized by their sharp, bitter taste with a hint of peppermint. The smell of cumin seed is aromatic, spicy and sweet. This spice must not smell or taste mouldy.

Cumin seed in dishes

Cumin seed is best used in dried or roasted form. When the seed is heated, it gives off more flavour and the seed has a stronger taste. In Asia, cumin seed is often roasted or deep-fried and used in all kinds of curries. They call this spice 'djinten'. In Northern European countries cumin seed is also called 'kummel'. Here it is often used on and in bread. In the Netherlands we also know cumin cheese.