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Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Spice Cumin

Cumin Spice, Cumin Indigenous Medicine
Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and used since antiquity in traditional healing systems.

Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and used since antiquity in traditional healing systems.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Spice Cumin


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

Cumin seeds are sometimes used whole, but more commonly they are ground into powder.


What does cumin taste like? 

Cumin has an unmistakable flavor, when a dish is flavored with cumin; it has a nutty peppery slightly smoky flavor.

Where does cumin come from?

Cumin is one of the earliest cultivated herbs in Africa. Cumin is a low-growing annual herb of the Nile valley, but cultivated in the Mediterranean region, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, India, China, and Palestine from very early times and is a strong tasting herb.

How does cumin grow?

Cumin can grow outdoors, in containers, and hydroponics. Cumin plants are known to attract beneficial insects. The plants mature in about 2 - 3 months, when the stems are cut and dried in the shade. Cumin is grown for its seeds that are used whole or ground. To harvest seeds, allow pod to ripen and turn brown. Remove from the plant and dry. Rub pods to remove the seeds. The whole stem can be cut and hung upside down in a bag to collect the seeds. Use fresh or store in an airtight container.

What is cumin used for?

Cumin is a common spice in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mexican cuisines as curry powder and in pickles, pastry and soups. The seeds should be roasted before being used to bring out the aroma.

What are other uses for cumin?

Those who take cumin as a medicine do so for digestion problems including diarrhea, gas and as a diuretic. Cumin may also lower blood sugar levels. Cumin seeds are rich sources of essential oils and have been actively researched for their chemical composition and biological activities. In the Moroccan traditional medicine, cumin seeds are used as diuretics and given to treat diabetes and hypertension. In traditional medicine of Tunisia, cumin is given to new mothers to increases milk supply and as an antiseptic.

When using whole cumin seed, toast the seeds in advance to get the best flavor possible.
Did you know?
When using whole cumin seed, toast the seeds in advance to get the best flavor possible.

Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

Chic African Culture


Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com

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