Green Cardamom History:
Cardamom, or elettaria cardamomum, one of the oldest spices known, is native to southern India. Being from the ginger family, it has a mild yet pungent spicy bite while maintaining a sweet flavor. With notes of citrus, it is known as a warm spice. Green cardamom packs a punch.
Cardamom has been long used as an ancient medicine. It had many purposes, and was touted to aid in digestion by the Greek physician, Hippocrates, also known as “The Father of Medicine. Cardamom was not just used to enhance digestion from colic and heartburn. It was also used to treat headaches, bronchitis, and even cardiovascular disease. It is thought to have antibacterial properties and was used for this purpose. Of course, these uses have not been confirmed by science. Although modern research is encouraging as animal studies, have linked cardamom to obesity prevention, and improved cholesterol and liver function.
Green Cardamom Uses:
Cardamom is widely sought after around the world. Because the harvesting is quite labor intensive, they remain one of the most expensive spices worldwide. For centuries, it has been used as a central flavoring in spice mixtures throughout Indian cuisine. Green cardamom has made its mark in history. Ancient Egyptians chewed on the pods for oral health and fresh breath. Greeks and Romans made perfumes and oils with the spice. Cardamom remains a very popular spice in Scandinavia. This is due to the Vikings finding it in their travels and bringing it back with them.
This green cardamom is cardamom in its whole, pod form. The whole cardamom pod can be used to flavor dishes and plucked out after cooking. Once green cardamom pods are toasted, it is recommended to open the pods and remove the seeds. The seeds can then be used either whole or ground and used for cooking. The empty pods can then be used to add flavor to liquids like tea and broth when steeped. Cardamom is a very versatile spice that is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s often used in sweeter baked goods in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. As noted, cardamom is common in Indian spice mixtures such as curries. It pairs nicely with meats, fish and vegetables, and can add flavor to coffees and teas.