Cumin seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures. It is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper. Cumin's distinctive flavor and strong, warm aroma is due to its essential oil content.
Cultivation requires a long, hot summer of 3-4 months; it is drought-tolerant, and is mostly grown in Mediterranean climates. It is grown from seed, sown in spring, and needs fertile, well-drained soil.