A spice that matches almost everything we have chosen to use in one of our creations. It brings spiciness and originality to drinks.
Cardamom, a spice not so much used with orignal flavours
Origins of cardamom
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum by its botanical name, has its origins in Southeast Asia. Its use in India goes back so far that it is impossible to date it. The oldest documented evidence of its use dates back to the Vedic period, around the 3rd century BC. However, it is known that Ayurvedic medicine has used it for thousands of years in India to treat digestive disorders, asthma and bronchitis.
It is estimated that it was exported by ship since its use by doctors in Assyria more than 200 years later, a former region of Mesopotamia that corresponds to the present location of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran. It is also said to have been grown in the gardens of the King of Babylon Merodach-Baladan II in the 8th century BC.
Cardamom arrived in Europe thanks to Arab merchants, who exported it to Greece and ancient and then medieval Rome. It then spread to other countries in the Mediterranean basin and then to Western Europe.
Cardamom crops can now be found all over the tropics, but it is in India that it remains the most cultivated on terraces in the mountains of the Indian subcontinent called the Cardamom Mountains.
Characteristics of cardamom
Name: Elettaria cardamomum
Species: herbaceous plant
Cardamom is a large herbaceous plant. Its thick rhizome produces high sterile stems and shorter fertile stems, which have white flowers, colored pink and blue, giving swollen capsules filled with dark, highly fragrant seeds.
This spice needs to be planted in warm areas and on shady ground. It does not withstand temperatures below 5 ° C. Its flowering takes place in spring, and its fruits reach maturity in September. They are harvested three years after planting. Fruits should be dried before using.
There are three types of Cardamom. Green Cardamom is the most fragrant and most used. White Cardamom does not actually exist in its natural state, it is found in the form of capsules containing discoloured green Cardamom. This form of packaging makes it possible to keep its aromas longer. White Cardamom is obtained through a bleaching process of green Cardamom to strengthen its camphoric side. Brown Cardamom is a spice mainly used in curries in Indonesia and chocolate creations.
Uses of cardamom
Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world, after Saffron and Vanilla.
It is used to spice up salty or sweet dishes. Its taste is very pronounced, it is obviously necessary to sprinkle it on other foods sparingly. It can be ground with or without its envelope. It is also possible to grill the Cardamom seed directly. Its minty, non-spicy aftertaste gives it a very original flavour and allows it to stand out from other spices.
It matches very well with many salty foods: meat (and especially white meats such as chicken), vegetables such as carrots or lentils, other spices such as Coriander, Cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, Clove, etc...
Some say that its taste is similar to that of Bergamot, very sweet and camphorated. In Europe, it is mainly used for pastry making. Compotes, gingerbread, jams, chocolate and even plain fruit flavoured with Cardamom... this spice seems to be able to perfect all dishes! Although it may seem unusual, the combination of Coffee and Cardamom goes very well together: just sprinkle a few pinches in your drink to give it a totally different, more dynamic taste.
Benefits of cardamom
Cardamom is known for its carminative properties, helping to expel gases from the intestine.
It is also said that chewing a few pure grains of Cardamom helps to purify the breath. It is used in South Asia to treat tooth and gum infections.