The caraway plant is a biennial herb dill-like slender, branched stems. It has a feather like leaves, and what most of us consider a seed is actually a fruit.
The fruit when ripe, splits into narrow, elongated carpals, which are curved, pointed at the ends and have four longitudinal ridges on the surface. The dried fruits and seeds, brown in color, are very hard with an odor that, pleasant to humans, can ward off many pests and potential animal adversaries in the wild.
Caraway has long been used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans in breads and cakes. Caraway was said to prevent lovers from straying, it was once an essential ingredient in potions.
This month, KOVAL distilleries in Chicago sent us a sample of their 1st lot release of their new Caraway Liqueur to taste, test, and try.
Caraway’s flavor palate is reminiscent of dill, with a distinctive citrus flavor and herbaceous, almost medicinal feel. The seed pairs well with potato, cabbage, and pork dishes, and adds earthiness to sauerkraut and rye breads, but it’s also a perfect component for a Swedish or Scandanavian meal. Served with something fatty and rich like smoked salmon, this digestive aperitif will shine.
This liqueur has hints of anise, and would work well to kick up a bloody Mary or more savory cocktail.
It would also work well in carrot or squash soups, and here our recipe for Salmon with Caraway Liqueur Sauce.
Don’t let the unique characteristics of this liqueur scare you. It’s light, and we could see it used in a variety of cocktails and even dessert for a flavorful, European-themed end of summer meal.