Wild herbs burst with a bouquet of flavor, a scent spectrum rarely found in their cultivated versions. Take this cumin, foraged in the wilds of the Hindu Kush mountains in northeastern Afghanistan. Where typical cumin has a single savory note of warm, toasty flavor, this has a range of eye-opening aromas. There are whiffs of desert, anise, cedar, leather, tobacco and on and on and on.
I keep a jar handy to remind me of its amazingness, because no recipe will call for it but there are few recipes that don’t benefit from it. Add a pinch of whole seeds to a vinaigrette, cream of tomato soup, a sunny side up egg, thick-cut toast spread with warm avocado. Grind them bit in an electric mill or stone mortar and mix with wild fennel pollen for a pork or chicken rub that will blow your mind. This is whole seed cumin, a total one of a kind, first time ever imported to the USA.