In the family
Cumin is often confused for caraway and the nomenclature for the herb in Slavic countries blurs the distinction between the two. Called "Roman caraway" or "spice caraway" cumin is actually spicier than its similar-looking relation. In addition to being hotter in taste, it is lighter in color, and bigger in size.
In the same boat
Cumin has eight ridges running lengthwise along its boat-shaped body with oil canals between them. It is yellow-brown in color and looks similar not just to caraway but also the other schizocarp herbaceous spices: fennel and anise seed.
Caraway seed is best added towards the beginning of cooking to allow time for its flavors to develop.
Caraway, along with dill and spearmint, are among some of the oldest herbs known and used. In ancient times caraway was used to mask the smell of foul breath.