What is Cardamom
Origin of the Spice Cardamom:
- Cardamom, every Indian’s Elaichi is the common spice which is derived from the seeds that are contained in the pods from a number of plants which belongs to the Zigiberaceae family. A group of plants which is native to certain parts of the Indian sub-continent.
- The tropical forests of the Western Ghats which is considered to be the very birthplace of the spice is know today as the ‘Cardamom Hills’.
Classification of Cardamom:
Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom
- The spice may be classified either into the Elettara variety with the smaller green pods and the Amomum variety with the slighly larger pods which have a darker brown to black appearance. The two respective varieties of cardamom were first categorized by Theophrastus as early as the 4th century BCE
- Theophrastus, considered the Greek father of botany was even back then of knowledge that both the varieties of cardamom were native to India.
Facts about Trade of Cardamom:
- Cardamom is among the premier spices which has been a commodity of commercial exchange for traders since ages.
- A certain German coffee planter, Oscar Majus Kloeffe was responsible for the introduction of Cardamom plantation in Guatemala, as long back as before the first world war. Today Guatemala is the largest producer and exporter of the spice followed by India, the land of the spice’s origin.
Also Read: Guide to Homemade Extra Spicy Garam Masala
Culinary & Medicinal use of Cardamom in India:
The Spice and its Healthy Benefits.
- Cardamom is in fact the third most expensive spice in the world, preceded in price per weight only by Vanilla and Saffron. Cardamom could easily be recognized by its distinct sweet taste. The spice is extensively used in cuisines across the world. More so in the land of its origin India, where it is a common ingredient in hot as well as sweet savories, also regularly used as a topping.
- Cardamom finds extensive use in Ayurveda due to its warming effects on the body. It is said to keep the functions of the bile under control, apart from been particularly beneficial in reduction of intestinal gas. The Spice has been used in ancient Ayurvedic practices for the purpose of the cleaning of the lungs as well as the stomach.
- The Spice is rich in a number of nutrients which include among others iron, magnesium, potassium and even traces of Vitamin C.
- Merely chewing on the seeds contained in the Cardamom pods would give you a fresh breath ridding you of staleness in the mouth.