- Origin
Cardamom has a distinctive pungent aroma and it is part of many different world cuisines, especially East Indian, Scandinavian, Arabic and Central African. It is the second most expensive spice. Saffron is the only one that costs more. Cardamom had been known since ancient time. Some researchers propose that it grew in the legendary Hanging Gardens of Semiramis (Hanging Gardens of Babylon). Arabian merchants introduced it to Greek and Romans.
The most useful form of cardamom is pods of green or white colour. Inside of each pod are about 20 small black sticky seeds. If you cannot find whole pods use the ground cardamom available in grocery stores. White cardamom is green cardamom that has been chemically bleached. Avoid using white pods as bleaching can remove flavour and aroma.

- Varieties
There is a completely different type of cardamom which is called black cardamom. The pods come from the tree that is related to the regular cardamom tree. In the majority of cook books black cardamom is describes as a substitute for regular cardamom, but in reality it is not entirely correct.

- Flavour
The tasted is often described as similar to ginger but having the anise flavour.

- Usage
Scandinavian countries use cardamom for cookies and sweetbreads. In culinary cardamom is generally used for baking (cakes, muffins and biscuits) and in smaller quantities for stuffed fish.

- Amount
0.1 g of cardamom is enough for one dish. It can also be added to sauces in combination with other spices, but no more than 0.5g.

- Combinations and substitutes
The combination of cardamom and nutmeg works very well with boiled fish.

- Storage
When ground, cardamom seeds lose their flavour very fast, so it is best to buy whole seeds whenever possible and store in a tightly closed container.

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