Cumin is the seed of a small plant in the parsley family. Its use goes back 5000 years to the Egyptians, who used it not only as a spice but as an ingredient in the mummification process. The Greeks and Romans also used cumin and highly regarded it as one of the essential spices. Pungent, sharp, and slightly sweet, the greenish brown powder of this herb is an essential ingredient in Mexican and Indian cuisine (chili con carne and hot tamales come to mind).
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