Dill is an annual herb in the apiaceae family, along with carrot, coriander, anise, and many other ingredients and flavorings.
The plant is grown in Eurasia, with both the leaves and the seeds being used regularly in cooking to add additional flavor and aroma. In this post, you’ll discover how to use it in cooking, where it comes from, and how to store it and prepare it for the best results.
Origin, History, and vs Dill Weed
Dill gets its name from the Norse ‘dylla’. This translates to ‘to soothe’ or ‘to lull’. Its use can actually be traced all the way back to 3,000BC where it is referenced in Egyptian text as a medicine.
In Rome during the 1st Century, dill was considered to be good luck. The Egyptians meanwhile used it to ward off witches, and in Greece it was considered to signify wealth.
Today, dill is used all around the world in cooking and is one of the more popular ingredients for adding flavor. It makes comes up extremely regularly in instant pot cookbooks, German cookbooks, and the odd French cookbook.
And did you know, dill is also considered to be medicinal today! That’s because it is a natural antibiotic – or antibacterial just like garlic. This makes it a somewhat effective option for treating infections and helping to destroy bacteria responsible. It can even be used to freshen the breath by killing the bacteria that is responsible for producing the bad odor during halitosis.
So perhaps it is a kind of aphrodisiac after all…
Dill Weed vs Dill Seed
As compared with dill weed, dill seed is only slightly different. It has a slightly stronger and more bitter taste. Conversely, dill weed is often described as being slightly more ‘lemony’ or having a flavor similar to anise or parsley.
Dill seed is more often compared with caraway, sitting a little closer to that end in the spice racks.
In general then, you should use predominantly dill seed when you want a stronger flavor, but use dill weed when you are trying to add just a subtle and delicate extra aroma to your cooking.
Uses and Tips
When using dill, it is a good idea to add it to the stock pots and sauce pans early. This will allow time for the heat to bring out more of the flavor. It can be used in just about any recipe in the place of caraway or fennel, including a lot of pasta dishes, pizza oven recipes, and canned tuna meals.
A great simple way to use dill seed is to make yourself a slice of toast with a toasty bag or 4 slice toaster. Then add a little lemon, some sour cream, and finally sprinkle on some dill seed. The result is a slightly tangy and citrusy salmon meal that is also very healthy!
This is the best way to get familiar with any herb or spice: try using it in a meal and see how it affects the taste!
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