"The fitches are beaten out with a staff and the cummin with a rod"
--Isaiah 28:27

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(Cuminum cyminum)

This close relative of the caraway is native to the Orient, but was being grown all over the Mediterranean regions well before the Christian era. Romans used the flat, oval brown seeds as a substitute for pepper and even ground them into a paste to spread on bread. Today it is key to Thai, Indian, Mideastern, North African, Mexican and southwestern USA cuisines.