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Mar 27, 2007 03:43 PM

What are the black seeds on great Jewish rye bread?


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      1. re: coastie

        NOPE. No, no, no. They are NOT caraway. They are large, very black, triangular, and are on Russian Jewish rye

        1. re: elhaiken

          Found this on the 'net:

          chernushka rye bread

          Peppery little black nigella seeds add a little spiciness to our already tasty rye bread.

          Also known as black caraway, "chernushki" are peppery-tasting seeds, commonly used in Russian rye and pumpernickel. The name is derived from the Russian "chernuyi" meaning "black." Their zippy flavor is a great addition to the rye bread.

          1. re: pescatarian

            Pescatarian- Thanks, but I've been on the 'net too, and got all of the same info. The kolonji or black onion seeds are not the same- they are much too small and have no flavor

            1. re: elhaiken

              I don't know. Most of the rye bread I've had in my lifetime (I love rye bread) has caraway seeds. You sure it's not the black nigella seeds?

              1. re: pescatarian

                Usually there are caraway seeds and then some kalonji or nigella seeds on the bottom of a loaf...really good.

              2. re: elhaiken

                Supposedly kolonji and chernushki are the same, nigella sativa (black nigella). However, I've bought some that are tasteless - esp., the ones sold as kolonji. Aphrodisia in NYC was selling two types that looked almost identical, and the ones sold as "Russian black caraway" had the right flavor, whereas the others (which are used in Indian cooking) did not. It is very hard to find the good ones.

              1. re: elhaiken

                Boy I don't know - I would go with pescatarian....caraway is the standard - I don't know what I was thinking....some recipes call for rye seed - I've never seen it though.

                1. re: elhaiken

                  I'm goin with Cardamon pod seeds....based puely on your desription of them being triangular. Vaguely eucalyptus tasting? I chew on them after fishing them out of my Turkish Coffee. Might this be them?

              2. Sev hoondig (Nigella seed, Charnuska)
                Also known as Black Cumin or Black Caraway seed, this flavorful small black seed is often used in Jewish rye bread and Armenian string cheese. Known as Kolonji in India, this seed is an ingredient in many garam masala recipes. Nigella seed is used in the cooking of Lebanese, Serbian, and Armenian cultures. here's a pic

                2 Replies
                1. re: Lyndalh

                  Could it be that I got a bad batch? These sed were black enough, but about 1/4 the size, the wrong texture-they were hard and smooth and the "rye" seeds had a dusty surface

                  1. re: Lyndalh

                    I'd agree with Lyndalh. They are probably a variety of black cumin seed.

                    "Packed with health and flavor, black cumin's small, triangular seed graces the garden with vivid blossoms."


                  2. Most seeded jewish rye bread has caraway seeds on it. But what you might be finding could be nigella seed, or kalunji, or black onion seed.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: flourgirl

                      I went to a Russian store and asked for Charnushka and they looked at me like I was crazy. I bought Kolonji, also marked as black onion seed, and it was NOT right--they were black, alright, but way too amall and had no flavor

                    2. Penzey's sells charnushka for your baking needs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: zebcook

                        Good call, zebcook. Just too amplify that, here is Penzey's description:

                        Charnushka (Nigella Sativa)
                        Tiny, black, smoky flavored seeds found atop Jewish rye bread in New York. Used in Armenia, Lebanon, Israel, and India. Also referred to as black caraway or kalonji, charnushka is used heavily in garam masala. From India.