Home » Crisp white wines » IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH CUMIN?



My husband would say “Yes!”

I would have to disagree.

When a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cumin, I use two.  Okay, I lied.  I use a tablespoon, and then add a bit more for good measure.

Cilantro falls into this same category for me, as well as figuring into most of the same dishes that call for cumin.  Recipe says 1/4 cup?  That means one great big handful.

My Irish cousin is probably choking right now, but my foodie sister in law is thinking of recipes she can send along that call for cilantro and cumin.

We had a get together for my son’s birthday this weekend.  Late summer flavors with cumin and cilantro:  roasted tomato salsa and Dennis’ spicy burgers, laced with jalapeño, banana peppers, cumin and cilantro.  Fall flavors:  roasted eggplant salad with feta and chick peas.  No cumin or cilantro there, just earthy richness.

Accompanying the cumin and cilantro: a 2011 Castello Monaci Acante Fiano.  This wine is a perfect companion for late summer evenings, with a crispness that matches the cooler air, but enough fruit to keep you interested.

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. Claire, who came up with that title, Sauced in NY, loveit! Yeah, can’t have too much cummin paired with cilantro – perfect. Just last night threw a handful of cilantro in some chicken curry business. But still goes well with Chianti! Did I mention that Chianti deserves more respect? Seems too many old hippies my age have less than fond memories of old chianti basket bottles with candles matched with some darn good hangovers.

    Good luck with the new blog!

    • You are spot on, Scott, about Chianti being underrated. Curry – now there is a flavor I do not go to easily. If it goes with cilantro, then I guess I need to step out of my comfort zone and try it!

  2. Cumin (did I write “cummin?” – must have been thinking of another, er, blog!) is where curry gets its “c” and its “u” from! How can you curry favor to cumin and be crummy to curry? Chianti needs a come back as, so Stacy says, does “crummy.”

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