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.
Dill Seeds and the Journey From Garden to Dinner Plate
When we sit down to enjoy a delicious meal, often times the thought of where our food has come from rarely -- if ever -- crosses our minds. The journey from seedling to dinner plate is an incredible one filled with intricate science and incredible detail. Dill is one of these plant varieties which takes dedicated farmers, careful gardeners, and a little bit of natural wisdom to turn these tiny seeds into a savory meal.
Dill, scientifically known as Anethum graveolens, is a member of the celery family and the origin of dill cultivation dates back over 2000 years. The delicate herb is an annual plant with bright yellow flowers that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. Dill seeds act as the plant's reproductive structure, allowing production of a new generation of foliage.
To make a dill seed, they are typically pollinated by insects during the spring months of April and May. The visible part of the seed is formed only after the green seed pods dry and turn yellow, commonly known as the “umbel”. The umbel is actually a series of individual flowers that form at the top of the stem; many of these small flowers will eventually form a single seed.
As the seed matures, the umbel turns a golden yellow. At this stage, the seeds become active and begin to ripen. A developing seed is high in the rainy sap oleoresin, an aromatic substance like a food flavoring and a preservative.
Finally, when the seeds are ripe, they fall to the ground and are collected in thin nets or paper bags. Dill is usually harvested at the beginning of the summer when there is still a bit of moisture in the air. This will ensure that the essential oils in the plant remain high and will provide a strong flavor profile once the seed is processed and added to our food.
Once the seeds are harvested, they are dried and brought to a processing facility. At this facility, the dill seeds are cleaned and then tested for chemical composition. This ensures that the product has a definite chemical composition which is consistent and tastes the same every time. This process helps to maintain the integrity of the flavor.
Once the dill seeds have gone through processing, they are ready to be packed and distributed. Much of the dill used in the United States comes from India, Turkey, or Egypt; however, many countries around the world produce and export dill. The seeds are packed in air tight containers and stored in cool warehouses to prevent spoilage.
When the dill seeds arrive at the grocery store, they are ready to be purchased. Dill seeds are most commonly sold ground, either as a whole seed or a powder. Whole dill seeds can be used to add flavor to foods and can also be used as a spice to add bit of crunchiness to salads or other dishes. Ground dill powder is the more common form that you’ll find. Usually, it is sold in jars and is commonly used to season fish and other seafood dishes, as well as in sauces, dressings and soups.
Dill is a versatile herb and it can be used to make all sorts of delicious dishes -- from a Greek salad to a rich seafood-stuffed pasta dish. However, no matter how we choose to use the dill, it is always an important ingredient in many of our favorite meals.
So next time you take a bite of something that has a hint of dill, remember the incredible journey that this flavorful tiny seed has to go through in order to add its delightful flavor to your dinner plate. From the hand of the grower who carefully sowed the seeds, to the scientist who tested the essential oils and ground the seeds, to the cook who added the perfect amount of seasoning, dill is an essential part of many of our favorite dishes.
|Vitamin A||0.003 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.021 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.42 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.28 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.00281 grams|
|Vitamin B6||0.25 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.01 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.01 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.01 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.58 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.1 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.7 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||9.36 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.05 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||9.41 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.15 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.96 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||1.11 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.12 g|