It is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Upper Egypt.
Cumin has been grown and used as a spice since ancient times. It was
originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean region.
It was also known in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. The spice is especially associated with Morocco, where it is often smelt in the abundant street cookery of the medina.
During medieval times, it was favored in Europe and Britain, but it seems to have gradually lost favor in those places except in Spain during the Middle Ages but is more widely used again today; it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish colonists.
Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma, popular in North African, Middle Eastern, western Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.
Primary cultivation of cumin is in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa with India and Iran as the largest cumin exporters. It is now mostly grown in Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, India, Syria, Mexico, and Chile.