Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a native of southwest Asia and India with tough stalks but very delicate, feather-like leaves. Dill was known in ancient Egypt, and became popular in northern Europe, perhaps thanks to its affinity with the local native caraway. Dillweed blends the distinctive flavor of its seed with pleasant green, fresh notes and a unique, characteristic note of its own (dill ether), and in Western cooking is most often used with fish. It is prepared in large amounts, almost as a vegetable and often with rice, in Greece and in Asia. India has its own distinctive variety, A. graveolens var. sowa, which is used as a vegetable as well as for its seeds.