Dill seed is a widely used spice with a recognizable flavor, and it is found in many countries and cultures. The most widely recognized use of dill seed is in dill pickles, which are a staple in many cuisines around the world. While traditionally used in pickles, dill seed is a versatile spice that can be used to flavor soups, sauces, marinades, and more.
The scientific name for dill is Anethum graveolens and its common name is dillweed. The plant is in the Apiaceae family, which also includes celery, parsley, and carrots. Dill can reach heights of up to five feet, and its stems are smooth, thin, and hollow. The leaves are feathery, finely divided, and bright green in color. When flowering, the small yellow flowers form umbrella-shaped heads.
It's the dill seed, however, that is prized for its culinary uses. All parts of the dill plant, including the seeds, have a unique flavor: both sweet and savory with hints of lemon and anise. In terms of taste, the seed is slightly bitter, but the sweet and savory flavors still come through. The seeds are also known to contain high amounts of Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Although the dill plant is native to the western Asia, it is now cultivated in many countries, including the United States, India, and parts of Europe. Dill seed can be found in grocery stores, health food stores, and online retailers. As with all spices, it is recommended to purchase dill seeds from a reputable source.
When purchasing dill seed, you should look for seeds that are dark in color and evenly shaped. The seeds should also be free of debris and unwanted matter. To store dill seeds, you should keep them in a tightly sealed container, preferably one that is airtight and opaque. When stored correctly, dill seeds will last for up to two years.
Dill seeds can be used both whole or ground. If using whole, you can lightly toast the seeds in a dry pan to bring out their flavor. When using the ground form, you should add it toward the end of the cooking process, as the heat can easily break down its flavor.
Dill is a versatile seasoning that can be used in many different dishes. It pairs beautifully with fish, potatoes, and salads. You can also use it to season salad dressings, marinades, soups, and sauces, or even just sprinkle it on top of your favorite dish. However, dill seed is most widely used to make dill pickles and other pickled vegetables. The combination of herbs, garlic, vinegar and dill seed is one of the most popular flavor combinations.
Overall, dill seed is an incredibly flavorful and versatile spice that can be used to elevate any dish. Although it is mostly associated with pickles, dill seed is great to use in many other types of dishes, savory and sweet. From salad dressings to soups, from marinades to sauces, dill seed is always a great addition that can add a unique flavor to your dish.