Caraway

← Return to Herbs

Carum carvi

 

History

A popular flavouring in many traditional middle European dishes and breads particularly Pumpernickel bread and Cabbage dishes such as Sauerkraut.

The essential oil has traditionally been used as an anti-fungal and root-sprouting suppressant on potatoes.

Growing

Caraway like other members of the Apiaceae (Umbeliferae) family are temperate species and not fussy about soil type. Best sown direct from seed in full sun or light shade, and kept moist till germinated. Sudden cold spells can knock them back. Young plants are best with some shade in a Hawke’s Bay summer as can shoot to premature flower and seed if heat stressed.  Will self sow once well established.

Maintenance

Little feeding and maintenance required other than shade from strong heat and protection from extreme cold.

Uses

All parts of the plant can be used though it is the seed it is most known for.  The seed has a strong liquorice / anise and sweetish flavour that is difficult to mix with other herbs and spices. Works well with cabbage, potatoes, Rye breads, and meats such as Pork and Lamb.

Young leaves can be added to salads, soups, and Stews.

Roots can be steamed and  roasted and tastes similar to parsnips.

The essential oil is used in Liqueurs such as Kummel, and used medicinally.