View All Spice Definitions
Information for Cardamom
Cardamom is a spice made from the Cardamom plant seeds originally cultivated in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. The plant belongs to the Zingiberaceae ginger family and is identifiable by its diminutive spindle-shaped seed pods and dark seed fruits.
The two types of Cardamom are Elettaria and Amomum. Elettaria Cardamom has pale green pods and is widely grown and allocated in India and Malaysia. Meanwhile, the Amomum variety carries larger and darker brown pods which are mostly grown in Asia and Australia.
Cardamom is actually a word that comes from the Latin "cardamomum". The introduction of the Cardamom spice dates back to ancient Mycenae where it was recorded in the list of flavorings in the Mycenaean spice tablets.
Used as a seasoning in foods and drinks, Cardamom has a sharp taste and powerfully sweet-smelling scent. High quality green Cardamoms have an earthy flavor while black Cardamoms tend to be cool while imparting a certain smokiness to dishes.
Usually, Cardamoms are used to make Indian sweets. Common dishes and drinks that contain Cardamom include India's spiced tea (Masala chai), Scandinavia's Julekake, and Finland's sweet rolls (pulla).
Highly regarded for its medicinal value, Cardamom is considered to treat throat and teeth problems, clear lung congestion, reduce eyelid inflammation, and cure snake and scorpion venom. Additionally, Cardamom is not cheap and one of the world's most high-priced spices, ranking third after saffron and vanilla.
Photo Credit: .michael.newman.