Organic Ground Cardamom
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, is a member of the Zinziberaceae family (ginger family) and is closely related to galangal, ginger, grains of paradise and turmeric. Cardamom is indigenous to the moist evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of Southern India, which interestingly is also the origin, and the place with the greatest genetic diversity of black peppercorns. Cardamom is often referred to as the “queen of spices” (pepper is known as the “king of spice”) and is considered the world’s third most expensive spice behind saffron and vanilla. There are two types of cardamom, true, green or lesser cardamom and false or greater cardamom. False cardamom is less expensive and is grown in West Africa, Bengal, Nepal and Vietnam. Our organic ground cardamom seeds are considered green cardamom.
Cardamom is the firm, unripend dry fruit that contains about a dozen seeds. It’s sold as a pod (whole or crushed), as whole seeds (referred to as decorticated cardamom) or as ground seeds. Most often recipes call for the whole or ground seeds rather than the full pod, and cardamom intensifies both savory and sweet flavors.
Depending on its origins, true cardamom has 2% to 10% volatile oil and its instantly recognizable, pungent aroma comes primarily from the components 1,8-cineole (25% to 35%) and a-terpinyl acetate (28% to 34%). The essential oil is citrusy, spicy, sweet and musty while the oleoresin (a mixture of the essential oil and a resin) is dark green, burning, cool and pungent.
Green cardamom is called hale or hab el-hal (Arabic), shiou dou kou (Mandarin), hel (Farsi), cardomome (French), cardamom (German), chotta elaichi (Hindi), karudamon (Japanese), cardamom (Portuguese), kardamon (Russian) and cardamom (Spanish).
Flavor Profile of Organic Ground Cardamom
There’s nothing subtle about cardamom, and its complex flavor is slightly floral, sweet and spicy with citrusy notes. The aroma will open up your sinuses with a strong menthol scent, while leaving the tongue with a warm antiseptic sensation comparable to eucalyptus with peppery undertones. Some have described it as spicy and cola-like.