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Home > Herb Gardening > Herbal Plants > Caraway
Caraway (Carum carvi) Herbal Plants
Caraway (Carum carvi)Name: Caraway (Carum carvi)

DESCRIPTION: Caraway is a biennial plant to less than 1m tall with fine feathery leaves and umbels of white flowers like flattened parasols. The flowers are followed by the curved, ridged seeds which are the most popular part of the plant. They have an interesting sharp flavour with citrus overtones. The long white roots and the leaves can also be eaten.

ORIGIN: Europe and parts of Western Asia

CULTIVATION: Caraway is grown from seed sown in autumn or spring. Seedlings do not respond well to transplanting so sow them where they are to grow and thin later to about 25cm apart. In mild climates they can be grown in full sun but semi-shade is preferable in most parts of Australia. The plants usually take two years to complete their life cycle but this can vary. The plants require ample water. If the seed is to be collected the stems should be cut when they just begin to yellow. Hang them upside down to dry with paper bags to catch the seed as it is released.

USES: Caraway has been used both medicinally and in cuisine for thousands of years. It is perhaps best known for its use in caraway seed cake, popular in Britain. The seed can be used in a variety of breads, pastries and cakes, in cooked fruit dishes and in steamed and baked vegetables. It is also used to flavour some sausages and other meats and is the flavouring used in the liqueur, Kόmmel. Young leaves can be added to salads and chopped and sprinkled into soups. The root can be eaten as a vegetable or added to other dishes. Caraway is useful as an aid to digestion and to relieve flatulence.
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