I’ve recently cooked the same recipe with different batches of cumin.

The first time when I added the cumin it gave off a Middle Eastern / Indian scent, the second time it was more Mexican smelling.

Are there different varieties of cumin grown in Europe / Asia and America?

  • Google & wikipedia tells me there are 3 types, Iranian, Indian & Middle Eastern - no "Mexican". Personally I've never had 'mexican' cumin ever, though I make 'mexican' food a lot [I do get imported Mexican 'oregano' as the Mexican version is not even vaguely related to the European].
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 18, 2020 at 16:47
  • Could this have to do with how much the cumin itself was cooked in your process? It's very common to dry roast whole cumin seeds before adding other ingredients to the pan in Indian cooking. As far as I know this not usually done in Mexican cooking. If one time you gave the cumin a bit more dry cooking time you might end up with a noticeable flavor difference.
    – The Photon
    Jan 18, 2020 at 17:57
  • @ThePhoton they were both ground Jan 18, 2020 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Cumin is related to the Parsley Family (surprise!) and is grown in many parts of the world. Therefore, depending on soil, rainfall, climate, fertilizers and other factors are likely to create subtle differences in the final seed flavors based upon where and how it is grown. That all being said, it's the same plant wherever it is grown.

India has traditionally been the world’s leading commercial producer of cumin with 70% of the market, followed by Syria with 15% and Turkey with 5%. With the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East Syria and Turkey combined are now only producing about 10% of the world's total. India is now producing close to 80% of the cumin output.

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