Almost all of us have a collection of spices at home, but have you ever thought about the histories of those spices?
Today we're taking a closer look at cardamom, one of the oldest, most expensive spices in the world.
An ancient spice
Cardamom has been used for more than 4,000 years. It comes from various plants in the ginger family and has a characteristic spicy and sweet taste. Cardamom was used in rituals in ancient Egypt and was later used by the Greeks and Romans in oils and perfumes.
One of the most expensive spices in the world
Cardamom is third on the list of the most expensive spices, just after saffron and vanilla.
There are two types of cardamom
Cardamom comes in black (Amomum subulatum) and green (Elettaria cardamomum). Green cardamom is often referred to as "real cardamom". It is used in various Indian dishes such as biryani, kheer and curries. Black cardamom, on the other hand, is often used in naturopathy. Compared to green cardamom, it has less flavour and is more tart, which is why it is rarely used for desserts.
Green cardamom probably originally came from southwest India, where there is still an area called the Cardamom Hills today. Black cardamom, on the other hand, comes from the eastern Himalayas and China. Today cardamom is grown worldwide wherever the climate allows. Cardamom is still one of the most popular spices in Indian cuisine.
Cardamom is rich in essential oils and has strong antioxidant and diuretic properties. It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. It is said to lower blood pressure and have support good digestion because it stimulates the metabolism.
As cardamom contains many essential oils that naturally evaporate very quickly, it should always be bought as a whole pod. You can grind these pods using a mortar and pestle for the best possible flavour.