Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to South Asia. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. Cumin is an herb that many associate with Mexican and Spanish foods, but it is also widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It has a very distinct flavor, and in the US is most often used in packaged taco seasonings. It is mostly ground to the powder. In Indian recipes, cumin is frequently confused with caraway, which it resembles in appearance though not in taste, cumin being far more powerful. This is due to a misunderstanding of the Indian word jeera. The term usually means cumin, but can occasionally mean caraway, so in doubtful cases, cumin is generally to be understood.