Cumin is a spice that everyone has heard of - Mexican food, Moroccan food, most definitely Indian food, and even southern BBQ sauces call for it. Ground cumin makes its way into many of the dishes I make, and many of my hot sauces, but I'm even more intrigued by the whole cumin seed. Pop a cumin seed into your mouth - it's warm, earthy, nutty, peppery, citrusy, and ends with a little bit of licorice. Dry toast the cumin seed and freshly grind it, and you'll find it's a billion times better than store-bought ground cumin. Fry the cumin seed in oil or butter for 1 minute (called tempering, and the key to many Indian dishes), and all of those elements become even more pronounced. Begin cooking anything with cumin tempered in oil, and odds are you'll end up with something delicious.