Organic Dill Seeds
Country of Origin:
Our organic dill seeds come from the aromatic "Anethum graveolens" plant that is related to celery, carrots, and parsley. It is one of the small group of plants that produces both an herb from the feathery leaves, and a spice from the seeds.
The plant has a long and ancient history in many countries as a culinary and medicinal herb. The earliest known record of dill as a medicinal herb was found in Egypt 5000 years ago, when the plant was referred to as a "soothing medicine". The Babylonians were known to have grown dill in their gardens. Dill was also a widely used and familiar plant in the Greek culture. Dill scented oil was burned in Greek homes, and the plant’s essential oil was used to make some of their wine. Dioscorides, a Greek doctor and surgeon, wrote that scorched dill seeds were used to aid with healing wounded soldiers, a practice which was also shared by the Romans. Gladiators were fed meals covered with dill because it was hoped that the herb would grant them valor and courage.
Dill seeds are often called "meetinghouse seeds" because they were chewed during long church services to keep members awake or kids quiet. The seeds were also chewed in order to freshen the breath and quiet noisy stomachs. Dill has long been a highly prized herb, and in many cultures it was taxed or tithed. One such case is that of Edward I of England, who did not have enough money to repair London Bridge. He imposed a tax on dill and other spices that ships brought into the harbor to help raise the needed funds.
The name "dill" means to "calm or soothe", and most likely originates from the plant’s known ability to calm troubled stomachs and colicky infants. The Latin name of a plant often tells us something about the plant’s characteristics, and dill is no exception. The name "Anethum" describes dill’s growth habits. The word is a combination of the words "ano" and "theo", which when used together mean "upwards I run". "Anethum" also originates from the Greek word "aneson" or "aneton", which is most likely also the origin of the name "anise". The Latin name "graveolens" comes from a combination of two words; "gravis", meaning "heavy or weighty", and "oleo", which means "producing a smell or odor". When combined into "graveolens" the meaning of these two words becomes "emitting a heavy odor or strong smell". Thus, the name "Anethum graveolens" means a tall plant with a vigorous growth habit that has a strong smell.
What is the difference between dill seed and dill weed?
- Dill seed, the crunchy little fruits of the plant, are pleasantly bitter and a touch camphorous. The flavor of the seeds offers a resemblance to anise or caraway seed. Dill seeds are delicious on bread or stirred into egg frittatas or quiches. They go well with hearty vegetables like cabbage, and are a natural complement to its relative, the carrot. Dill seeds also go well with meats and fish. They’re wonderful with lentils; no Indian daal would be complete without them. Dill seeds are a staple spice in a traditional corned beef spice blend.
- Dill weed, the leafy herb, tastes sweet and grassy with notes of licorice. Dill weed can also be used to create pickles through the process of fermentation. Fermentation doesn’t apply heat but rather, relies on a chemical reaction; since there’s no heat, the flavors of dill weed won’t get destroyed during cooking. It should be used mindfully and usually toward the end of cooking time. It is a natural companion for mild cheeses and, like the seeds, does well with a little acidity. This is why it pairs well with potato salad, whether it’s mixed with sour cream or vinegar, and why it makes a terrific mustard vinaigrette. Toss over lighter meats like fish or chicken, and add it to any vegetable you can imagine, since it will invariably brighten the flavor.
- Dill weed and dill seed, both taken from the same plant, have significantly different flavors and play different roles in the kitchen. The leaves provide an herb that is airy and aromatic, while the seeds give earthy richness and depth. They are not able to be used interchangeably since they require different cooking methods to make the most of their qualities. Once you understand how to work with it, though, dill can provide an incredible spectrum of flavor to recipes from around the world.
In order to keep our organic herbs, spices & seasoning blends as fresh as possible we keep our standing inventory very low. There may be up to a 4 week lead time for this product to get you the freshest products possible.
- Store below 15°C and < 65% humidity.
- Store in the dark as light degrades flavors.
- Mason jars make great storage containers.
- Can be frozen to prolong shelf life.