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|- | style="text-align:center;" | Alpinia purpurata
Cardamom fruit as used as spice. |- style="text-align:center;" ! style="background: lightgreen;" | Scientific classification |- style="text-align:center;" |

|- valign=top |Kingdom:||Plantae |- valign=top |Division:||Magnoliophyta |- valign=top |Class:||Liliopsida |- valign=top |Order:||Zingiberales |- valign=top |Family:||Zingiberaceae |- valign=top |Genus:||Elettaria |} |- style="text-align:center; background:lightgreen;" !Binomial name |- | Elettaria caramomum |} Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a pungent aromatic spice belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. It is a perennial plant which can grow to be between six and 12 feet tall.

The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and Asian cuisine either whole or in a ground form. Ground Cardamom is a primary ingredient of curry powder. In the Middle East, Cardamom is used for coffee; in other countries such as Iran, it is used to flavor tea. Cardamom is also an ingredient of herbal teas from India, called "Yogi tea."

Cardamom was first used around 700 CE and was imported to Europe for the first time in around 1200. It is now grown in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Central America.

Cardamom has a strong, pungent taste, with a fragrance reminiscent of eucalyptus oil , while being more complex and subtle. It is often used in Danish pastry and breads.

Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum and related species) also of the Zingiberaceae, is used in the same way as the green Indian variety, but with a different flavor.

External link

  • All about Cardamom
  • Photo of Cardamom

Last updated: 02-08-2005 09:20:23
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01