Of the many exotic spices for sale, one of the best ingredients you can add to your kitchen is dill, a perennial herb with a wide variety of uses and health benefits. Like fennel, dill spices are a member of the Umbelliferae family, a group of flowering herbs that also includes caraway, parsley and cumin. Should you incorporate this interesting seasoning into your recipes? Read on for some interesting facts and tips in favor of this great spice to help you decide.
- Herbs typically contain everything from antioxidants and essential oils to vitamins and nutrients, which can help the body fight germs and toxins, as well as boosting immunity levels. Dill is no exception, but while experts say it’s phyto-nutrient profile comparable to high-calorie products like nuts, cereals and meats, dill is also low in calories and cholesterol.
- Sprigs of dill have been known for their anti-septic, digestive and carminative properties for centuries.
- Dill oil, a substance extracted from dill seeds, is traditionally used to treat headaches, nervous irritability, and even problems breastfeeding.
- As a member of the Umbelliferaefamily, cooking with fresh dill pollen and other forms of the herb typically incorporates a taste that is similar to anise or caraway: aromatic, sweet, and slightly citrus-like, but also somewhat bitter.
- Dill is popular in a number of cultures, including Germany and the Mediterranean. Fans of German potato salad will be familiar with this spice, for example, while Italian and Greek cooking typically uses this seasoning in vegetable, chicken, and fish recipes.
- Dill is also used in pickling, as well as a flavoring for soups, sauces and salads.
- Recipes typically call for fresh dill, a soft and leafy plant that can also add a familiar texture to a dish, particularly when it comes to pickles and dressings. However, it can be difficult to keep a steady supply of recently-picked dill around. For this reason, many cooks keep several forms of the spice on hand, including fresh dill, dill seeds, and dill pollen.
- While woody spices like thyme and oregano tend to preserve well when dried, dill is too soft for this method and will lose a great deal of its flavor. Wild crafted pollens, however, are freshly collected and easy to preserve, helping the plant retain its taste.
- Dried herbs typically do best when they are added during the cooking process, a technique that infuses their flavor throughout the dish. Cooking with fresh dill pollen works similarly: add the pollen during cooking to give it time to flavor the dish.
Do you see a use for dill in your kitchen? Have you thought about cooking with fresh dill pollen to access the spice’s famous taste and important health benefits? If so, contact a spice retailer today to access fresh products to add to your dishes.