Fresh Dill

Spice Profile: Dill

Scientific Name Anethum Graveolens

What is Dill?

Grown for its feathery fronds and pungent seeds, dill has a bright but warm flavor and aroma that is unmistakable. Dill is used in a wide variety of cuisines as diverse as Scandinavian and Middle Eastern. It is essential to the classic dill pickle and Russian borscht.

What is the History of Dill?

Dill is native to southern Russia, western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes as well as culinary purposes. The first recorded use of dill was in Egypt 5,000 years ago. It was most commonly used to ease stomach and digestive pains. The use of dill in pickling dates back at least to 1680. 

How is Dill Grown?

The dill plant is a member of the parsley family. It can be easily grown from seed and should not be transplanted. It is an annual but can self seed if flowerheads are left to go to seed. Both the delicate fronds and dried seeds can be harvested and used.

How can I use Dill?

Fresh dill is a wonderful addition to sour cream and yogurt dips. It also pairs nicely with light flavors like fish and seafood. It is also used to flavor rice, and beans. Dill seeds are used in pickling and in baking.

Fun Facts

  • In the Netherlands, dill is steeped in hot milk to induce sleep.
  • In Germany and Belgium, dill was thought to bring good fortune to marriages. Brides often attached it to their wedding gown or carried it in their bouquets. 

Sources

  • Herbs & Spices by Jill Norman
  • https://www.herbsociety.org/herbs/documents/Dillguidenewer.pdf

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