cardamom

green pods
whole pods
4.9
based on 29 reviews
try me sample
0.32 oz
75¢
pinch jar
1.3 oz
$10
refill
1.3 oz
$9
large refill
6 oz
$24
view packaging
VARIANTS
decorticated - seeds
whole pods - green pods
ground - seeds
Whole green cardamom are small seed capsules with papery outer shells. They have ridges running along their length and taper at either ends. When fresh, and quality-dried, they are green in color and somewhat plump. The capsules are triangular in cross-section, and when opened reveal 15-20 small black-brown and intensely aromatic seeds.

Crushing whole green cardamom to expose the seeds will add to the already strong aroma of these capsules. This is a process required for most recipes. Buying cardamom whole and crushing (and/or extracting the seeds) as needed, allows for the greatest flavor and aroma impact. Additional punch can be achieved by lightly toasting the cardamom before using; the enticing scent of the pods will rise from your pan.

Cardamom's distinctive flavor and aroma allows it to be used in either savory or sweet dishes. It pairs well with other warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric; and it is popular in curries, baked goods, as well as in tea and coffee beverages.
QUICK INFO
cardamom , whole pods
PLANT PART
fruit
PROCESSING / FORM
whole pods
BOTANICAL NAME
Elettaria cardamomum
VOLUME
1.5 oz (43 g) per 1/2 cup
ORIGIN
Guatemala
BOTANICAL NAME
Elettaria cardamomum
AKA
True cardamom
small cardamom
queen of spices
Elettaria cardamomum is the aromatic plant that yields the fruit called cardamom. The fruit capsules are dried for their numerous culinary uses and for their wellness properties, and so these pungent pods have been dubbed the "Queen of Spices." Green cardamom is considered to be the second-most expensive spice by weight, surpassed only by saffron.

Though this plant is native to India's western Malabar coast, the majority of the world's supply of green cardamom now comes from Guatemala where the plant has been given another nick-name: "Green Gold of Guatemala." Part of the crop's success in the country lies in its being suitable for growing by smallholder households (often women-led). However suitable the crop is for farming, both cultivation and harvesting are still labor-intensive. Plants aren't mature for three to four years and the area around the crop requires weeding and pest control during that time. Once mature, the plant flowers in the spring, the fruit swells in the summer, and then when it is bright green and ripe it is ready for harvesting—usually in the first half of October.

Harvesting is done by hand, with scrapes or shoots of fruit clusters being broken off close to the stem. These fruit pods, called 'capsules', are dried by either sun or machine (depending on weather) after which they are then cleaned, polished, sorted, graded, and packed.
CONFUSIONS

Cardamom in kind
Though green cardamom pods are the most familiar to Americans, cardamom also can be found in black and white varieties. Though the term white cardamom is often (but not always) in reference to a bleached version of the green cardamom pods; black cardamom is a different species Amomum subulatum.

USAGE HINT

Fortunately, with this pricy spice a little goes a long way. Exercise restraint when including cardamom in your dishes, it can quickly overpower your other ingredients.

QUICK FACT

The Greeks and Romans infused oils with cardamom pods to make a perfume.

 
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RECIPES
a cocktail recipe using:
other
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REVIEWS (29)