Caraway seeds are extracted from a biennial plant, and are one of the most popular spices in European cuisine. They have a hard and sharp texture and have a strong aroma. All sorts of traditional European savoury dishes are made with caraway seed as one of the main ingredients. Caraway belongs to the Umbellifer or parsley family, to which other well-known herbs and spices such as anise and cumin also belong.
Mostly, caraway is grown in large quantities in Europe, North Africa, as well as Asia Minor regions. As mentioned before, it is a biennial herbaceous plant, which means that it blooms once every two years. The people cultivating them usually harvest the plants during the early morning hours so as to prevent wastage and spillage of the seeds in the field. After this, they are stacked together in bundles and left for the day to dry out in the sun. Then, the seeds are extracted from the plants either by hand or by using a machine.
Apart from being used as a spice in cooking all sorts of dishes, caraway seeds are also sued for flavouring biscuits, cakes, bread as well as cheese, and also for seasoning sausages.