WHAT ARE CARAWAY SEEDS?
Caraway seeds are the small, aromatic seeds of a biennial herb known as Carum carvi, a member of the parsley family. The herb is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa and has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes in these regions for centuries. Before caraway seeds became a popular spice in the kitchen, they were commonly used for health benefits in different cultures, such as to treat infection, aid in digestion, and help protect against chronic diseases.
Caraway seeds are a versatile spice that can do wonders for your recipes. They pair well with other common spices, such as cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds. Although commonly used in rye bread, caraway seeds can also be found in various meat dishes, stews, pickles, and cheeses. Learn more about caraway spice and new recipes you can try.
WHAT DO CARAWAY SEEDS TASTE LIKE?
Caraway seeds have an intense, bittersweet flavor often described as a combination of anise, dill, and fennel. Caraway spice tends to add a mild licorice taste to any dish. At first taste, you may find that caraway spice has a nutty, earthy flavor with some sweetness. While the flavor can add depth to your favorite dishes, it can be an acquired taste. Moderation is vital when you first start cooking with caraway powder or seeds. When cooking with caraway spice, use the powder or seeds sparingly, as the flavor can be overpowering. Start with a small amount, say a quarter teaspoon, and increase or decrease your desired taste preference. You'll quickly fall in love with the unique flavoring caraway spice brings to many recipes.
WHOLE VS. GROUND CARAWAY SEEDS
Caraway spice is sold in two forms: as a seed or as powder. Whole caraway (caraway seeds) tend to keep their flavor longer than the ground (powder) version. However, powder caraway has a more potent taste and is easier to cook as the flavor is incorporated faster into food. If you only have caraway seeds in the pantry and a recipe calls for ground, don’t worry. You can always grind the seeds using a spice grinder or pestle.
HOW TO USE CARAWAY SEEDS IN YOUR RECIPES
Caraway seeds are best known as an ingredient found in rye and soda bread, but for centuries, they have been used worldwide as a spice to add flavor to many recipes. Caraway spice is a staple ingredient in many typical German, Hungarian, and Polish dishes. It can add a warm, peppery flavor to fruit-based desserts like tarts and pies. If you want to add spicy heat to your stew meat, our soup recipes, caraway seeds, or powder can do the trick.
WHAT ARE CARAWAY SEEDS SUBSTITUTES?
Don’t have caraway spice available in your pantry? Don’t worry. There are plenty of substitutes for caraway that can step in when you’re in need, including:
- Fennel Seeds: have a subtle licorice flavor similar to caraway seeds. Fennel seeds originated in the Mediterranean and are often used in Spanish, Italian, and Middle Eastern recipes.
- Cumin Seeds: With their warm and earthy taste, cumin seeds make an excellent substitute for caraway seeds. Cumin Seed brings a smoky, nutty flavor to dishes like chili, tacos, and curries.
- Dill Seeds: bring a lemony flavor to various dishes, including savory pork, seafood recipes, and mayonnaise-based salads.
- Anise Seeds: If you’re looking for a substitute for caraway with a similar licorice flavor, Anise Seeds are a good go-to. Like caraway seeds, anise seeds are also in the parsley family and can add depth to all your favorite recipes.
TRY THESE RECIPES WITH CARAWAY SEEDS
- Caraway Stout Cocktail
- Harvest Pork with Apples and Sauerkraut
- Savory Irish Cheese Soda Bread
- Caraway Dill Salmon with Roasted Potatoes
- Arugula Caraway Pesto Pasta
GRAB YOUR CARAWAY SEEDS PRODUCTS!
Want to create a meal plan for your Caraway Seed recipes? Need help planning your weekly meals and want to try new recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, and drink recipes and organize your ingredients with McCormick Meal Planner.