Cumin, Cuminum cyminum, is from the family Apiaceae. Cumin, pronounced “khu-min”, it is closely related to anise, caraway, coriander, dill and fennel. Cumin is native to the Mediterranean regions and northern Africa but has been cultivated for thousands of years in the Middle East, India, China and the Mediterranean. In the U.S. cumin has not historically been a widely used spice but it has slowly been gaining popularity as more foreign cuisines are being celebrated in American culture. Cumin is one of the most commonly consumed spices worldwide, right after chiles and pepper. Cumin is a key spice in Indian, Mexican, and Vietnamese cuisine.
Cumin has a range of 2.5% to 4.5% essential oils that are pretty much colorless and are made up of mostly monoterpene aldehydes.
Cumin is called kamun (Arabic) Siu wuih heung (Cantonese), Kuming or Xiao hui xiang (Mandarin), cumin (French), Kreuzkummel (German), jeera (Hindi), kumin (Japanese), cominho (Portuguese), kmin (Russian), cumino (Italian), and comino (Spanish).