Cardamom

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated June 19, 2013)

Cardamom, also know by the scientific name Elettaria cardamom matons, is one of the crown jewels of the spice world. In fact, this spice is one of the most expensive spices available (only saffron is more expensive). Unlike many other spices, cardamom is actually not the fruit of any tree or plant, but rather the seed pod of the cardamom (or cardomon as it is also known) plant. The reason that this spice is so expensive is that it usually needs to be harvested by hand, and an acre of the plant will only yield about 250 pounds of the spice.

When cardamom was first discovered and used as a spice, the plant was native to the Indian sub-continent. Today, the single largest exporter of this wonderful little spice is actually the country of Guatemala. This plant, while reminiscent of ginger, actually has a spicy, sweet, flowery taste. Since it has such a unique taste, it is often used as a natural form of breath freshener or sweetener.

Since the cardamom is part of the ginger family, it has many of the properties associated with that plant. In fact, if you are looking for a way to "awaken" the tongue to a complex and intricate blend of spices, then cardamom is a necessity. Part of the reason for this is that while cardamom has an authoritative taste, it doesn't have the strong or powerful edge that is associated with ginger. So make sure that you use it in moderation when you want to accentuate the taste of your main dishes. Some of the other similarities that cardamom has with ginger is that it is a great flavor additive for freshly served melons, and is also good for soothing the stomach.

Cardamom is often recognized as an ingredient for sweets, pastries, and other baked goods. This is in part due to the fact that many of the Scandinavian countries have long used this spice as a seasoning for their pastries and other desserts. Typically, cardamom is added to both the dough and the filling to ensure that the taste is enjoyed with every single bite. In fact, this spice has long been a favorite of the Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians since Viking sailors first brought the spice home from the Middle East over a 1,000 years ago.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Polishing Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tile is an extremely durable and relatively cheap material, all of which makes it more attractive to home owners and ...

Discover More

Cleaning Discolored Linoleum

Whether through age or through excessive changes in heat over time linoleum will become discolored and start to look ...

Discover More

Differences Between Nodal and Sectional Cuttings

Cutting is perhaps one of the most common method of plant propagation around. Typically two types of cuttings are the most ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

What is Basil?

Basil, or Ocimum basilicum, can be found in many areas of our everyday lives. In fact, this wonderful little herb has more ...

Discover More

Using Garlic

Love garlic? Learn how to use it easier, and find out what to do when you've used too much.

Discover More

Saving Dry Brown Sugar

How can you keep your brown sugar from drying out? And what can you do to save it if it's already dry? Find out here.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight less than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)