Cumin is one of the most popular spices following chilies and pepper and has long been a key ingredient in curries, Garam Masala and Coucous. Spanish explorers introduced the spice along the Rio Grande, making cumin one of the most common spices found in South American dishes and spice blends. Dry-roasting cumin seeds brings out a pleasant, nutty flavor and reduces some of the bitterness.
Cumin has a long history. It was used by the Egyptians during the embalming process before the introduction of cinnamon and cloves. During the Roman Era, cumin was a symbol of greed and it was a common put-down to say someone had eaten it. Thus the nickname for the voracious Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was “Cuminus.” Cumin was also incorporated into German wedding ceremonies in the Middle Ages to ensure the couples’ faithfulness to one another.
As mentioned before, cumin is used extensively in Indian curries, but it also makes a great addition to breads, pickles, and rice and vegetable dishes. Ground cumin is an important ingredient in many of our rubs and spice blends, including our Taco Seasoning, Adobo Seasoning and Maghreb Seasoning (a North African-inspired spice great on chicken and fish). It is also an essential component in seasoning for chili con carne, burgers, marinades and sauces.