Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum) is native to India and is an often used spice in many dishes from South Asia.
Fancy Green Cardamom Pods are about 1/2 long and have a fresh green color and pungent, aromatic flavor.
Chewing on Cardamom Pods can calm an upset stomach while sweetening the breath.
After Saffron and Vanilla, Cardamom is the third most expensive spice.
Each pod contains about 20 aromatic seeds.
There are Brown, White and Green Cardamom Pods.
The green is most common and the white pods are simply bleached green pods. The brown pods are not true Cardamom, but come from a related variety.
For best results, buy whole Green Cardamom and remove seeds just before using.
Cardamom mixed with ginger, cloves and cinnamon is great in rice pudding, black tea and even in hot chocolate.
The slightly spicy flavor of Cardamom also mixes well into traditional coffee cake recipes.
It is also a great spice for pickling.