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Dill is an annual herb that actually comes from the celery family (apiaceae). This is the same family as carrot, coriander, caraway, anise, and more. It is grown in Eurasia, with the leaves and seeds both being used as herbs and spices for flavoring. The former is what we refer to as ‘dill weed’.
Dill Weed Origin
Dill is named after the Norse word dylla, which means to soothe or lull. It can be traced back as far as 3,000 BC where it is first mentioned in Egyptian texts as a medicine.
Dill was also considered to be good luck in Rome during the 1st Century. Likewise, the Egyptians would use it to ward off witches – and it was also considered an aphrodisiac (which might also be considered lucky!). In Greece, it signified wealth.
Health Benefits of Dill Weed
Today we know that dill indeed does have some beneficial properties. In particular, it is an effective antibacterial agent, able to combat a host of unwanted germs. This also means it can double as a breath freshener – seeing as halitosis (the technical name for bad breath) is likewise caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Like garlic, dill might be used to help treat infections and a host of other issues as well for that reason.
Dill Weed In Cooking – Tips and Uses
But that’s probably not what you’re here to learn about. You’re more likely to be interested in the uses of dill in cooking. In that case, what does dill taste like and how do you use it?
You’ll find dill in a large number of different recipes. It makes regular appearances in instant pot cookbooks, German cookbooks, and the odd French cookbook. It has a flavor that is similar to licorice, or perhaps caraway or fennel. It is often mistaken for fennel in fact!
Dill can be crushed and incorporated whole in cooking and should be used early on in order to help the heat bring out additional flavor. The flavor of fresh dill doesn’t quite make its way to dried herb though – so keep that in mind when stocking your spice racks.
Dill finds its way into a lot of summer foods. You’ll find it paired with salads and with baked vegetables – it goes especially well with zucchini, squash, and asparagus. It’s also very common in Greek cooking.
If you’re going to be using your stock pots to make a sweet vegetable stock with squash and carrot – try adding some grill.
Want to use sauce pans to mix up a vegetable chutney? Again – this is perfect for adding dill.
Dill weed tastes slightly different from dill seed. The taste is generally the same, but leaves have a slightly more lemony and anise flavor like parsley, while the seeds are a little closer to caraway. Seed is a little more pungent too, and may have a slightly bitter taste. They also taste stronger when heated.
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