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CARAWAY - Defined

CARAWAY—Name of seeds of a wild plant used in distilling, for cordial and cake flavoring. It is the seed of a garden herb; grows like seed of carrots and parsnips; cheap in the drug stores; used in various cakes and sweet crackers, used by the Germans in rye bread, used steeped in spirits to make kummel and in various liqueurs.

History of the Caraway Seed

Caraway seeds are the dried fruit of a biennial, umbelliferous plant (herb) botanically known as: Carum carui L. As a biennial plant it produces the crop the second year after sowing, generally in July, and therefore is cultivated mostly as a so-called mixed crop, in connection with annual plants, such as flax, mustard, poppy, clover, etc.

While Caraway Seed more or less is cultivated all over Europe, we receive the main supply through Holland, which entirely controls this article as far as large supplies for commercial use are concerned.

Dutch and German Caraway Seed is about all that is handled, here and the former (Dutch) is a heavier, better seed, commanding a premium.

For distilling purposes are best fit the seeds grown in Hessia, Bavaria (Germany), Tyrol and Styria (Austria) and Sweden.

Caraway Seed is used whole in Pickling Spice, Bakeries (Rye Bread), ground in sausage manufacturing, and as before mentioned, for distilling purposes in pharmaceuticals and perfumery.

It is customarily packed in 110-pound bags.

Nominal tare, 1 pound per bag but generally traded: Gross for net.

Caraway Seed in Holland.

[From London and China Telegraph.)

Caraway seed is grown extensively in this country (Holland). Groningen, in the northeast corner, produces more than any other province. next being north Holland, in which Amsterdam is situated.

In these two provinces more than half the caraway-plant acreage is found. In the whole country, in 1909, the number of acres devoted to caraway growing was 17,579; in 1910, 19,010; in 1911, 20,337.

Caraway seed is used for flavoring, and, perhaps less extensively, as a carminative. It is employed by confectioners, distillers, and perfumers in the preparation of liquors, cakes, sweetmeats, scented soaps, etc. It depends for its aromatic properties on a volatile oil, which is obtained by bruising the seeds and distilling them in water.

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Vintage Culinary Terms - "C"