Caraway vs. Cumin

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by cecilian, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. cecilian

    cecilian Member

    Italy, Italian
    Hi everybody,

    I'm making a pumpkin cake in which are involved both caraway and cumin spices.
    What's the difference between them?
    Wordreference here translates them both as 'cumino'.
    Can someone help me, please?

    Thank you in advance!

    Cecilia :)
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  2. london calling Senior Member


    I found this (

    Cumin is native to the Levant and Upper Egypt. It now grows in most hot countries, especially India, North Africa, China and the Americas. The spice is especially associated with Morocco, where it is often smelt in the abundant street cookery of the medinas. Cumin was known to the Egyptians five millennia ago; the seeds have been found in the Old Kingdon Pyramids. ---

    And this (Wiki):

    Similarly to Latin cuminum, Greek karon [κάρον] means “cumin”, not “caraway”. Its origin is not clear; it derives maybe from the name of a region in Asia Minor (Caria), but may well be a variant of Greek kyminon “cumin” or belong to the kin of “coriander”. The word was transferred to Latin as carum with the changed meaning “caraway” and thus gave rise to number of modern names of caraway, e.g., French carvi, Italian caro, Greek karvi [καρβί] and Norwegian karve.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2008
  3. cecilian

    cecilian Member

    Italy, Italian
    Thank you london_calling :)
    So apparently the difference would just be in taste? It seems cumin's stronger.
    Mh... I may end up using just simple cumin.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2008
  4. wggmn3 New Member

    Found this if its not too late:

    Cumin vs caraway
    By some reason I mixed them up. I was using caraway seeds instead of
    cumin seeds. The taste was fine, but not as strong. I went to check in
    Joy of Cooking, and there it states they can be interchanged. Naturally
    cumin has a stronger taste. This is just for your information, for what
    it might be worth.

    Also found this:

    While cumin lends a musky perfume, coriander is more citrus-like, even a little dusty. They complement in each other in cuisines around the world -- Cuban, Mexican, Indian, Turkish, Lebanese -- and they've been pals for ages.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2010
  5. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian, standard
    Fair enough. Although I was under the impression we were talking about cumin vs. caraway (Carum carvi), not coriander (Coriandrum sativum). :confused:
  6. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    I was thinking the same thing!
    Anyway, Cumin and Caraway are not at all similar and are used differently; I certainly wouldn't consider them as interchangeable. The Italian translations are very misleading.:confused:
  7. infinite sadness

    infinite sadness Senior Member

    Secondo me il primo potrebbe essere chiamato cimino o finocchietto selvatico, mentre il secondo si può chiamare anice.
  8. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Non direi! È vera una cosa, che all'occhio i semi di Cumin assomigliano parecchio a quelli di finocchio, ma il sapore è diverso. Finocchietto, anice, cumin e caraway sono quattro sapori diversi.
  9. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Italian, standard
    Da appassionato di curry e spezie orientali in genere, sono assolutamente d'accordo.:thumbsup:
  10. PublicJohnDoe Senior Member

    Il "caraway" normalmente e` chiamato "cumino dei prati", e dovrebbe essere l'ingrediente principale del liquore chiamato Kümmel.

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