The humble cumin seed sprouts off the end of a weedy grass, and is nearly as universal a seasoning as black pepper. Pungent and earthy, the savory base of cumin is surrounded by the lightest hints of citrus and pine, giving it a well-rounded and pleasing flavor. This seed spice has been cultivated since ancient times, and it is best kept whole to preserve its flavor and then ground before use. Intricate flavors develop nicely as cumin is cooked.
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