McCormick Science Institute



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Black Pepper

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The Cumin plant grows to about 1 to 2 feet tall and is harvested by hand. Cumin is a key component in both Chili Powder and Curry Powder.


The flavor of Cumin plays a major role in Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisines. Cumin is a critical ingredient of chili powder, and is found in achiote blends, adobos, garam masala, curry powder, and baharat.


Historically, Iran has been the principal supplier of Cumin, but currently the major sources are India, Syria, Pakistan, and Turkey.


Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that Cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried Cumin Seed throughout the wedding ceremony.

Quick Facts

Whole Cumin Seeds
Whole Cumin Seeds
Ground Cumin
Ground Cumin



Flavor & Aroma

Aromatic, pungent

Sensory Profile

Cumin is characterized by a strong musty/earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes.