Cumin has a unique and potent flavor that is integral to many cuisines around the world. It is often roasted to impart a toasted, nutty flavor. The aromatic, somewhat bitter, taste is essential to good chili. Virtually all Mexican meat or bean dishes contain a generous amount of cumin (called "comino" in Mexican recipes) as do foods from many other Latin American countries. For cooks in from Central America, Mexico, to the Far East, the Middle East to North Africa and Europe cumin seed has long been a signature spice. Cumin can be used to enhance any earthy dish such as roasted root vegetables or braised onions or cabbage, or use a scattering of freshly toasted seeds as a garnish on squash or carrot soup.