Caraway seed is similar in appearance to cumin seed but distinct in flavor. It is a popular ingredient in Northern/Central European cooking--namely Germany, Scandinavia and Austria. Caraway seed is the biennial fruit of a flowering herb in the parsley family, and although it is grown domestically in countries where it is pervasive in the cuisine, the majority of it is imported from Egypt. The oblong, tapered-end seeds give rye bread its characteristic flavor, and, like cumin seeds, they can also be ground into a powder. Caraway does not harmonize well with many other spices, but it pairs exceptionally with garlic, and the combination is used in many German and Austrian pork dishes. The spice is rarely used in Southern European cuisine.
Fennel seeds, which have a slightly similar flavor, can be used in the place of caraway seeds.
Caraway seeds can keep for a year or more when sealed tightly in a cool, dry place.