What is Cardamom?

Cardamom is the Queen of Spices.

Strictly speaking, cardamom is a plant that initially only existed in India. If you observe a blossoming cardamom plant, you will see many pods coming out of it. The color of these pods is often green, but they can also have other colors. It is generally agreed upon that green cardamom is the highest quality of cardamom you can find. The cardamom is then used as spice, tea or medicine. It is mostly popular as a spice.

What is Cardamom?

Cardamom is one of the oldest spices in this world, and there is a rich history behind it. At first it was only grown in South India until the Chinese discovered this tasty spice and decided to start cultivating it as well. Besides worshiping Zeus, the Greeks also worshiped cardamom, for they used it as a perfume as it was believed that cardamom was an aphrodisiac and that using it could make one more attractive. There is also evidence that the ancient Egyptians utilized this spice for medicinal purposes—mostly to heal gums and teeth.Nowadays, cardamom is usually grown in South India and Guatemala. Most of the cardamom in today’s world is cultivated. Like so many of

 the old spices of the world, it used to be monopolized before, but those days are long gone and now it is both affordable and readily available.

The Norse also found cardamom in the holy city of Constantinople. As masters of raiding and pillaging, they knew that when they stumbled upon this delicious spice that they just had to bring it back home.

Cardamom is a staple in Gulf cuisine. Persian, Indian and Turkish cuisine all use cardamom regularly in combination with curry powder, chilli, cumin seeds, cloves and saffron threads as well as the popular basmati rice. If you ask about Cardamom in any Persian, Indian or Turkish restaurant the cooks will often be happy to tell you how much they love to use it in their food and drinks

In fact, a good way to bond with recently-met Indian acquaintances on the dining table is to simply ask them about cardamom. This will show them that you know about their culture and that you’re one of them ;).

 The three most important types of cardamom are:

The taste of green cardamom is very strong and intense. Many cardamom newbies often think that it’s a good idea to just pour tons and tons of green cardamom into their food. This is what is known as a very, VERY bad idea. This is the kind of spice that can be overwhelming in large quantities, so don’t just pour the entire spice bottle into the plate. You can be more liberal with black cardamom.

The taste can best be described as a sort of strong herb mixed with an orange with a slight hint of cinnamon.

Lots of people use cardamom for just about anything: Soups, oatmeal, tea, bread, cereal, etc, but again, never use too much of it, especially the green vaeriety. In a sense, it’s like soy. A bit of it is good and can add to the meal you’re eating, but if you use too much you will basically ruin whatever you’re eating because it will be completely overpowered by the cardamom’s overwhelming flavor.