The Spice Route: Howard Walfish on Caraway Seeds

I’m really happy to have my friend, Howard Walfish on The Spice Route.  Howard writes two food blogs that I love to read. One is called Eat to Blog where he and his friend Donny cover a variety of restaurants, recipes, ingredients, markets and basically all things food and the other is his personal blog, brooklynvegetarian where he writes about all things vegetarian in Brooklyn including some of his own recipes.  You can also find Howard’s writing at Serious Eats.  Enjoy!

Name: Howard Walfish

Where do you live? Brooklyn, NYWhat do you love to do? Cook, eat, and write about cooking and eating for and

What’s your spice? Caraway seeds

What do you know about it? Growing up in a Jewish household there was no shortage of rye bread (for deli sandwiches, anyway; PB&J got good old white bread). As a kid I assumed that the tasty little seeds in the bread were rye seeds – why else would it be called rye bread? When I found out (much later in life) that they were, in fact, caraway seeds I was dumbfounded. It has a taste similar to fennel, which it is related to botanically, but isn’t quite as licorice-like. Caraway seeds are used in many Northern European cuisines, in many different ways. When I first tasted the Swedish liquor aquavit, it took me a moment to place the flavor: caraway.

What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe using it? Rye bread. I’m the kind of cook who prefers technique to recipes, even when it comes to making bread. The following recipe for rye bread is just a simple one that can be tweaked to your liking. A stand mixer will help immensely, but you can also do it by hand.


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