Dill Seed

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Dill seed has a stronger flavor than dill weed, the feathery leaves of the same plant (Anethum graveolens). It’s mildly reminiscent of caraway thanks to its content of the caraway terpene carvone, but also has fresh, spicy, and citrus notes. It’s mainly used in central and northern Europe in cucumber pickles (the combination goes back at least to the 17th century), sausages, condiments, cheeses, and baked goods. Indian dill, var. sowa, produces a larger seed with a somewhat different balance of aromas; it’s used in spice mixtures of northern India.