- - , Algemeen, , Moranjan Trading Co.
Cumin is native to Egypt and has been cultivated in the Middle East, India, China and Mediterranean countries for millennia. Throughout history, cumin has played an important role as a food and medicine and has been a cultural symbol with varied attributes.
Cumin was mentioned in the Bible not only as a seasoning for soup and bread, but also as a currency used to pay tithes to the priests. In ancient Egypt, cumin was not only used as a culinary spice, it was also an ingredient used to mummify pharaohs.
Cumin seeds were highly honored as a culinary seasoning in both ancient Greek and Roman kitchens. Cumin's popularity was partly due to the fact that its peppery flavor made it a viable replacement for black pepper, which was very expensive and hard to come by. Cumin was also noted for both its medicinal and cosmetic properties. Its application to induce a pallid complexion was frequently employed by many students trying to convince their teachers that they had pulled "all-nighters" studying for their classes.
Although a much prized spice, cumin became a symbol of frugality and greed in ancient Rome. Both Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius, emperors with a reputation for their avarice, were given nicknames that included reference to cumin.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, cumin was one of the most common spices used. Around that time, cumin added another attribute to its repertoire -- it became recognized as a symbol of love and fidelity. People carried cumin in their pockets when attending wedding ceremonies, and married soldiers were sent off to war with a loaf of cumin bread baked by their wives. Cumin's use for fortifying love is also represented in certain Arabic traditions in which a paste of ground cumin, pepper and honey is thought to have aphrodisiac properties.
While it still maintained an important role in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, the popularity of cumin in Europe declined after the Middle Ages. Today, cumin is experiencing renewed recognition owing to newfound appreciation of its culinary and therapeutic properties.
Michel Caron , Geneeskrachtige planten, , , 51-52, Cuminum cyminum (Komijn)
De komijn is afkomstig uit Midden-Azië, en wordt in onze streken gekweekt. De wortels zijn dun, vertakte stengels en fijn verdeelde, dubbel geveerde bladeren in schermen; vruchten ovaal en gestreept. Men gebruikt de aromatische vruchten, waarvan de werking overeenkomt met die van anijs.
Gustaf Dalman , Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina, hard, , Vol. 2 p. 290, Pfefferkümmel, Cuminum Cyminum, ar. kammün. Wintersaat. Mehrfach verwandtes Gewürz, auch auf Geb&aml;ck.
Hebr. kammōn Jes 28, 25. 27 als angebaut, Sa`adja ar. kammūn, späthebr. kammōn, griech. ϰύμινον Matth. 23, 23, chr.-pal. und syr. kammūnā. Im alten Ägypten vorhanden.