Cumin Article -
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Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to about one to two feet tall and is harvested by hand. Cumin is a key component in both chili powder and curry powder.


The flavor of cumin plays a major role in Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines. Cumin is a critical ingredient of chili powder, and is found in achiote blends, adobos, garam masala, curry powder, and baharat.


Historically, Iran has been a principal supplier of cumin, but currently the major sources are India, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey.


Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding ceremony.



    Flavor & Aroma

    Aromatic, pungent

    Sensory Profile

    Cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes.

      Jan. 13, 2011 2:02 pm
      I am not a fan of this spice. I think it smells and tastes a bit like body odor. Does any body else feel this way?
      Feb. 24, 2011 2:34 pm
      I put too much cumin in my chili soup. Outside of diluting, any suggestions for calming the taste of the cumin?
      May 22, 2011 10:55 am
      I don't have any cumin in my spice cabinet; what would be a good substitute for cumin? I only need 1 teaspoon, and I am making corn dog muffins
      Mar. 6, 2012 1:45 pm
      I put that on everything lol. Any time a recipe is missing something, its cumin
      Mar. 6, 2012 1:45 pm
      I put that on everything lol. Any time a recipe is missing something, its cumin
      Jun. 2, 2013 10:15 pm
      I used to feel cumin smelled and tasted funky until I was about 40 and my tastebuds changed, suddenlyloved cilantro this way, too.
      Oct. 4, 2013 12:28 pm
      If a recipe calls for cumin & you leave it out, it is just not the same dish, but for me it takes just a little.
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