This oil is
steam distilled from the dried, crushed, ripe fruit of Carum Carvi, a small
herb which grows wild in Asia, Europe, North Africa and in the northwestern
United States. The plant is cultivated in Holland, Denmark, Poland, USSR,
Hungary, Yugoslavia, Germany, England, Spain, Tunisia, India, and Pakistan. The
four first-named countries are main suppliers of the fruits; Holland is the
largest producer of the essential oil. Other countries supply smaller
quantities, and the Dutch oil is considered superior, although the scarce
English distilled oil (partly from foreign fruits) is also of high flavor
is offered on the market in at least two grades:
or “natural” caraway oil—and
rectified” or “redistilled” caraway oil.
caraway oil is the direct distillate. It is a pale yellow to brownish, mobile
liquid, possessing a strong and peculiar odor typical of the fruit, but with a
fatty-harsh undertone. The taste is similar, but quite burning, warm, biting.
Rectified caraway oil is colorless or very pale yellow. The odor is stronger,
less fatty. The flavor is warmer, less sweet and more biting than that of the
crude (natural) oil. Since the main constituents of caraway oil, Carvone and
Limonene (both in the dextro-rotatory form) are available as synthetic
chemicals, the use of caraway oil has been decreasing considerably during
recent years. Apart from the two materials mentioned, however, trace amounts of
other ingredients actually decide the characteristic odor of true caraway oil.
Caraway - Reconstitution -