That’s what I said out loud, and to nobody in particular, as I was finishing this morning’s piece of toasted rye bread. It was the taste of caraway seeds that seemed to be the source of my particular enjoyment of said piece of toast (and the second one which quickly followed it!).
I somehow get the feeling, though, that caraway seeds are not front and centre in many peoples spice racks (am I wrong?). It’s undoubtedly an ancient spice, likely to have been used in the Stone Age, certainly used by the ancient Egyptians, and quite fashionable in Elizabethan and, later, in Victorian times. It’s also pretty popular in traditional German and Eastern European fare, but not really featured much around these parts, guv (except, perhaps, in the odd bit of rye bread from your local Eastern European shop).
Could it be that it has just fallen out of flavour? (sorry, just couldn’t resist that one…!)
You know how, in any given recipe, there are those ingredients that you can leave out or substitute without losing the essence of the dish and then there are some that, well, you can’t.
Dear Pressure Cooker,
I would like to apologise for what I put you through the other night. To tell you the truth, I am only just about recovering from the experience myself.
Let me start by saying that you have been a faithful kitchen servant for many years. I need only think of the speed at which you have allowed me to cook a myriad pulses: kidney beans for that tex-mex chili and the Nigerian stew with the peanut sauce; black turtle beans for Mexican “charros”; black-eyed beans to be eaten with sweetcorn and a cider vinegar dressing; butter beans later slow-baked with carrots, tomatoes and oregano; soy beans for homemade tofu (though that was only the once); and chickpeas a zillion ways.
You were never, alas, meant to be used for jam-making.