Country of Origin – Turkey. Turkish cumin is considered to be higher quality than cumin mass produced in India
Flavour/Aroma – Gently aromatic, slightly sweet with clean citrus notes. Fresh pine notes can also be present.
Chilli heat – None but cloves provides a gentle warming
Ingredients – 100% whole cumin seeds
Uses in Mexican cooking – It is widely used in soups and stews, bread, cakes and desserts. Mexican cooks tend to use it in moderate amounts due to its strong flavours, however TexMex cooks have no such qualms and it is liberally used in the famous chilli con carne.
Uses in Fiesta Manana recipe kits
Adobo pork carnitas spice kit
Cauliflower steaks Tequila spice kit
Slow cooker Pulled Pork spice kit
Veg enchiladas spice kit
Slow cooked chilli beef spice kit
The seeds derive from a small annual plant Cuminum cyminum that was originally native to Southwest Asia. It should not be confused with Black Cumin this is from a different species Cuminum nigrum and as a result the two are not interchangeable in recipes.
The spice has been consumed for thousands of years, it was particularly valued by the ancient Greeks and Romans who kept it in a box on the table. They would sprinkle it generously over meals in the same way that we might use pepper today. It was valued for not only its flavour but also it was believed to prevent illness. Its use undoubtedly spread across Europe as a result of Roman conquest. After the fall of the Roman empire it gradually fell out of use in most of Europe, however it remained popular in Spain. Without a doubt the Spanish Conquistadors brought it with them during the conquest against the Aztecs. Consequently this distinct flavour it was passed in Mexican cookery.
Health and nutrition
Essential oils – The most important essential oil is cuminaldehyde, it is this that produces its distinctive aroma
Health benefits – Cumin has been scientifically observed to provide the following benefits
1 – It is an aid to digestion. It is likely that it triggers the release of digestive enzymes that speed up digestion. Specifically it increases the release of bile from the liver and this helps with the digestion of fats and nutrients – as a result the body gets more nutritional value from food. [source] It is being used in experimental treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
2 – It is a useful source of iron in our diets, for example one teaspoon of ground cumin could provide 20% of your RDA
3 – It has been linked to reductions in blood cholesterol and consequently in weight loss in scientific studies [source]
Blog posts related to Cumin seeds
Cumin – the key to unlock Mexican flavours