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Caraway has been found in the remains of Stone Age meals, Egyptian tombs, and ancient caravan stops along the Silk Road. The Arabic word for the seed, karawya gives us the present name, and Isaiah speaks of its clture in the Bible. In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Falstaff is ordered a "pippin (apple) and a dish of caraways", this being a traditional finish to an Elizabethan feast. Caraway has always been popular in Germany, and when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, Britain renewed its interest in his favourite seed.

Such an ancient herb is not without its magical properties. Caraway gives protection from witches and was believed to be able to prevent departures, so it was used in love potions.

[edit] Description

Used as both vegetable and plant, caraway is a tall plant, with feathery green leaflets. It grows to a height of 1½ to 4 feet (.46 to 1.22 meters). The flowers are white, and the fruit, which looks like ribbed seeds and is often incorrectly referred to as seed, is grey-green or greenish-brown when ripe.

[edit] Uses

  • Culinary
    • Seed- Sprinkle over rich meats, pork, goose and Hungarian beef stew to aid digestion. Add to cabbage water to reduce cooking smells. Use to flavour soups, breads, cakes, biscuits, apple pie, baked apples, and cheese. Serve in a dish of mixed seeds at the end of an Indian meal. Encrust with white sugar to make caraway comfits. Its essential oil is used in liqueurs usch as Kummelm and in confectionary.
    • Leaf - Chop young leaves into salads and soups.
    • Roots - Cook as a root vegetable
  • Household
    • Seed - Pigeon fanciers claim that tame pigeons will never stray if there is baked caraway dough in their cote.
  • Cosmetic
    • Seed - Use essential oil in mouthwashes and colognes.
  • Medical
    • Seed - Chew raw or infused seed to aid digestion, promote appetite, sweeten breath and relieve flatulence. It is safe for children.

[edit] See Also