Our Wild Mountain Cumin is hand-picked by foragers in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. They are tiny, oblong and black, with long stems. Botanically distinct from common cumin (Cuminum cyminum), our Wild Mountain Cumin is renowned in Afghanistan and throughout central and south Asia for its delicious flavor as well as its medicinal properties. It has a savory, penetrating aroma and bright, umami flavor evocative of grilled meats and sweet caramelized onions.
What they're saying:
"A recent obsession.” -Alex Raij, Chef & Owner of Txikito
“Even stale grocery store cumin usually smells like something, but this is like a supercharged version of what you know and love from Sichuan food or tacos. It’s incredibly versatile — we use it to crust things, or in sauces and vinaigrettes. Sometimes we dry toast it and hit it in a mortar and pestle, then top a salsa with it to get all the little crunchy bits for additional texture.” -Rikki Giambruno, Chef and Owner of Hyacinth in Saint Paul
- Origin: Badakhshan, Afghanistan
Aliases: black cumin, Persian cumin, kala jeera, Elwendia persica
- Process: Sun-dried
- Ingredients: 100% whole wild cumin (Bunium persicum)
- Tasting notes: Grilled Onion • Dried Apricots • Mountain Air
- Toast whole seeds in oil to start stir-fries, soups or curries
- Add to your rub for meats or vegetables before roasting or grilling
- Create a DIY curry powder or garam masala
- In Spinach with Cumin and Garlic (community recipe)
- In Chicken Korma (community recipe)
- In Mahi Mahi with Stewed Spiced Peaches (community recipe)
- Pairs well with: Black Urfa Chili, Ground Cinnamon Verum, Nile Coriander
Our Wild Mountain Cumin is sourced directly from networks of foragers in the Hindu Kush mountain range of Badakhshan province in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan. The Hindu Kush range is characterized by steep, rocky peaks cut through by green river valleys; the significant snowfall in the winter results in abundant vegetation in the short spring and summer seasons despite low rainfall. The rocky soil cultivates an ancient and resilient varietal of cumin with a warm, pungent flavor and irresistible aroma.
The cumin grows wild, and other than the small quantities we export, is harvested only for local consumption; there is no scalability or institutional infrastructure for export, and we are only able to source this very rare cumin varietal because of Burlap & Barrel founder Ethan’s years working in Badakhshan and surrounding provinces.
Burlap & Barrel is the only importer of Wild Mountain Cumin from Afghanistan. Our cumin grows wild and can be considered naturally organic, as no pesticides or other chemicals are used in its cultivation.
Meet the Forager: Ali Mohamed collects our Wild Mountain Cumin from foragers who bring it down from the high mountains of Afghanistan's Hindu Kush to Faizabad, where he cleans it and prepares it for shipment.
Definitely Fresh. Better than regular cumin. Wasn’t expecting unground seed , and was hesitant at first, but that doesn’t seem to matter.
As advertised, all cumins are not equal. The freshness of the herb is in every little seed and pops in whatever dish you use it in. I use other cumin seeds and ground cumins but they don't approach the flavors in this. The others have a stale quality that muddies the palate.
I'm having difficulty not putting this into everything I make. It's packed with savory nuttiness, slightly sweet, bold excellence.
I was so excited to try this and the other spices I ordered. All of them are wonderful.
This cumin is amazing! The smell and taste is wonderful.