Cumin (also spelled cummin) is a member of the parsley family and is cultivated in extremely hot summer temperatures. It is the dried seed harvested from the herb cuminum. Native to Iran and the Mediterranean region, the yellow-brown spice’s history goes back to ancient times, even being found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs . Cumin is also mentioned in the Bible twice (Isaiah 28:27 and Matthew 23:23). Ground cumin has a slightly oily texture and when it is fresh the spice is more pungent than its seed form; however, the seeds are able to retain its pungency for a longer time. Use with care because the spice is so strong that it can blot the taste of other spices used in whatever you are cooking.