If you love Tex-Mex food, you know that cumin is an important part of what makes burritos delicious. Along with ingredients like soft-shell tortillas, ground beef, and sharp cheddar cheese there are many different factors that contribute to the great flavour of Tex-Mex. From tacos to quesadillas, cumin is a well-loved staple of Tex-Mex cuisine. Much like its flavour, cumin comes from a rich history that spans centuries!

At BarBurrito, we celebrate the origin of Tex-Mex and are proud to share the history behind its dishes, spices, and ingredients. You can likely taste cumin in Tex-Mex, Indian, and other types of modern-day cuisines, but it has been a part of many dishes and traditions in ancient civilizations around the world.

The Origins of Cumin

Camshea, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The use of cumin in food, medicine, and yes – even mummification – goes back farther than you’d think. The earliest uses of cumin can be dated to roughly 4000 years ago in ancient Sumerian language and its rich popularity spanned generations afterward, to present day. In fact, cumin is a mentioned spice in the Bible in both the New Testament and Old Testament.  In food, cumin was popular in dishes for the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and many other civilizations in the area we now recognize as the Middle East. Historians theorize that cumin was as common at dinner as salt and pepper is on a modern table. In medicine, cumin was popularized by the ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties. In fact, there are a number of health benefits that cumin provides.

Cumin’s Health Benefits

Cumin contains a number of vitamins and important antioxidants. Vitamin E, calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, and iron are only some included in cumin. These vitamins and minerals are important for your immune response, digestive system, and many other ailments and disorders. It’s no wonder cumin is such an important spice for health and flavour!

How is it Used in Tex-Mex?

Cumin is used to add that recognizable flavour to meat we associate with Tex-Mex. Is it the most common seasoning for meats and even salsas. Cumin has a bittersweet taste that offers a kick to any recipe it’s added to. It’s used in many dishes, including burritos, and can elevate the heat and spice of a dish.

Take a Bite into History with BarBurrito

Visit your local BarBurrito for a burrito, taco, or quesadilla and experience the flavour of Tex-Mex for yourself!