From the Spice Cupboard: Caraway Seed

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Rye bread just wouldn't be the same without caraway. Neither would soda bread. Or havarti cheese or traditional sauerkraut or the liquor aquavit. Caraway is one of those spices that we'd miss terribly if it weren't around. Do you have a favorite way to use it?

Caraway plants are actually a member of the carrot family, related also to coriander and cumin. It's native to central Europe and then spread to other parts of Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Both the roots and the seeds are edible. If you ever get your hands on some, the roots can be cooked just like carrots.

Caraway seeds are highly aromatic and have a distinctive earthy anise flavor. They pack a lot of punch for such tiny little seeds! Most recipes only use a teaspoon or less.

Besides all the traditional caraway-spiced dishes mentioned above, this spice is at home with a lot of different foods. We love it in potato salads and coleslaws. A pinch of it is a welcome addition to any tomato-based soup or sauce. It's pungent flavor also does well with poached fish, pork roast, and with polish sausage dishes.

We're getting hungry just thinking about it! How do you like using caraway?

Recipes with Caraway to Try:
Caraway and Carrot Soup from Epicurious
Grilled Bratwurst Sandwiches with Caraway Sauerkraut from Martha Stewart
Beef Ghoulash with Dumplings from Simply Recipes

Related: Licorice-Flavored Foods: How Many Can You Name?