Elettaria cardamomum

Cardamom is the highly aromatic fruit of a perennial bushy herb in the ginger family. It has a sappy stem that reaches a height of up to 2.5 metres. Its brilliant green, slender leaves are arranged like palm tree fronds. Yellow-edged bluish flowers sprout from a shoot at the base of the plant. The actual spice is made from the small reddish brown seeds.

Countries of origin

India, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Malaysia, Cambodia, Tanzania, New Guinea
Cardamom is native to India. Alexander the Great's soldiers brought the seeds back to Europe. Together with saffron and vanilla, cardamom is one of the most expensive spices because it cannot be harvested until three years after planting. India continues to be the world's principal supplier of cardamom.

Flavour and aroma

Cardamom is expensive, but worth the price. Hardly any other spice has such a balanced aroma. Its sweetish, spicy flavour can be combined with both sweet and savoury dishes. Baked goods, sausage and meat specialties Cardamom is mainly used in bread and baked goods, desserts, fruit dishes, sweet marinades and sauces. It is indispensable in Christmas cakes and cookies, marzipan, candy and pudding. In Arabic countries, cardamom is used to season coffee and fruits, while the Swedish like it in punch. Cardamom is a component in numerous sausage seasoning blends and various curry powders. It goes well with exotic lamb and mutton dishes, grilled kabobs, sliced tomato and onion. Several liqueurs also have cardamom to thank for their special aroma.

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