Cumin, is a small herb grown for its fruit. The dried fruit, commonly called cumin seed, is primarily used to season foods. The plant, native to the Mediterranean region, is cultivated commercially in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The cumin plant grows about 6 inches (5 centimeters) high. It bears clusters of white or rose-colored flowers and yellowish-brown fruit, black cumin. The plant grows best in a mild climate and in rich, well-drained soil. As an annual, it lives for only one growing season.
Cumin seeds have a strong, spicy taste similar to that of caraway seeds. Cumin provides the main flavor in most Egyptian, Indian, and Turkish curries. It also is the cumin plant bears clusters of small flowers, left. The fruit, right is dried and used to season foods.
Is used to flavor many Mexican dishes, cheeses, sausages, stews, soups, pickles, meats, and dressings. The fruit yields oil used in perfumes and alcoholic beverages.
Scientific classification. Cumin belongs to the parsley family, Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. The scientific name for cumin is Cuminum cyminum.