The smell is like a slap of camphor to the face, followed by a light burn of fresh earth and mold (In the best way!).
It may seem a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. Grab the 1 oz./28g. size!
Black cardamom is a member of the ginger family, and a family friend of green cardamom, but they are most certainly not the same plant. It has some of the same flavor notes, especially an uplifting menthol element, but it’s also smoky, brash and bold. Ground cardamom is extremely strong. A little goes a long way in cooking. It’s a supporting spice, more the backswing of the taste and a leader on the nose.
Black cardamom pods are rougher than green cardamom. In fact, you might identify the flavor as a tad abrasive at times. This rugged quality is what makes it so delightful in rubs and spice blends. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Unlike many ground spices, ground cardamom has a much longer shelf life.
Black cardamom is grown throughout Guatemala, Vietnam, and India. At first it was seen as a poor substitute for green cardamom, but recently it has become valued for its own flavor.
The German coffee planter Oscar Majus Kloeffer introduced Indian cardamom to cultivation in Guatemala before World War I. By 2000, that country had become the biggest producer and exporter of cardamom in the world, followed by India. Cardamom is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.
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