Caraway seeds are highly aromatic with a distinctive mild anise flavor that adds a welcome and subtle licorice hint to many dishes. Their taste is earthy, with a hint of citrus and pepper.
Caraway thrives in any good, well drained soil, in a sunny spot. Sown in autumn, they flower and set seed the following summer, sown in mid spring, it forms leaves in the first year, and flowers and seeds in its second. Once introduced to the garden, it self-seeds freely and without intervention.
The soft, fern-like leaves can be used in place of parsley or chervil, for snipping over salads, soups and sauces; they are much less pungent than the seeds. These develop from tall-stemmed, flat-headed white flower clusters and should be gathered in late summer, before they ripen and turn brown. Dried, as all herbs, they should be stored in airtight containers.
Caraway seeds were popular in medieval times, used in cakes, biscuits and sweetmeats in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Falstaff is invited to ‘a pippin and a dish of caraways’.
Today, the seeds are used commercially to flavour liqueurs and in many Austrian, German and Scandinavian savoury dishes, as well as breads and cheeses.
Download the .pdf from this link: Caraway Potatoes and Seed Cake