Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cumin seeds in Greeks history

Cumin seed or Cuminum cyminum, is another of the herb spices which historically predates the Christian Era. It was one of the main spices use in ancient Greece.

Cumin was certainly grown in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs, where it was used in the embalming process, as well as to flavor many savory dishes. The ancient Greeks probably imported cumin form Egypt.

The ancient Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container, very much like salt and pepper today. Cumin was introduced to Greece from Ethiopia and a spice used to flavor meats by those Greeks who come from Smyrna. Geeks used cumin medicinally as a digestive aid, and in cosmetics to create a wan, pale, pallid complexion.

Greek kitchens of antiquity value cumin as a good substitute for black pepper which was very expensive and not widely available. They also ground cumin seeds with bread, water or wine.

While they enjoyed eating it, the ancient Greeks also considered cumin a symbol of meanness ~ a miserly person was said to be a “cumin splitter”.
Cumin seeds in Greeks history
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