Cardamom

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Cardamom
Elettaria cardamomum - Kohler-s Medizinal-Pflanzen-057.jpg
True cardamom (E. cardamomum)
100 Cardamom pods.jpg
Processed Cardamom pods
Scientific classification
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Cardamom seeds Cardamom Seeds BNC.jpg
Cardamom seeds

Cardamom ( /ˈkɑːrdəməm/ ), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, [1] is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. They are recognized by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery outer shell and small, black seeds; Elettaria pods are light green and smaller, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.

Spice Vegetable substance other than leaves primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food

A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Many spices have antimicrobial properties. This may explain why spices are more commonly used in warmer climates, which have more infectious diseases, and why the use of spices is prominent in meat, which is particularly susceptible to spoiling. Spices are sometimes used in medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production.

<i>Elettaria</i> genus of plants

Elettaria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Zingiberaceae. They are native to India and Sri Lanka, but cultivated and naturalized elsewhere. One member of the genus, E. cardamomum, is a commercially important spice used as a flavouring agent in many countries.

<i>Amomum</i> genus of plants

Amomum is a genus of plants native to China, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Queensland. It includes several species of cardamom, especially black cardamom. Plants of this genus are remarkable for their pungency and aromatic properties.

Contents

Species used for cardamom are native throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. The first references to cardamom are found in Sumer, and in the Ayurvedic literatures of India. [2] Nowadays, it is also cultivated in some other countries, such as Guatemala, Malaysia and Tanzania. [3] The German coffee planter Oscar Majus Kloeffer introduced Indian cardamom (kerala) 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. [4]

Sumer Ancient civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia

Sumer is the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia, modern-day southern Iraq, during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze ages, and one of the first civilizations in the world along with Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley. Living along the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, Sumerian farmers were able to grow an abundance of grain and other crops, the surplus of which enabled them to settle in one place. Prehistoric proto-writing dates back before 3000 BC. The earliest texts, from c. 3300 BC, come from the cities of Uruk and Jemdet Nasr; early cuneiform script emerged around 3000 BC.

Ayurveda Pseudo-medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent

Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of alternative medicine. In countries beyond India, Ayurvedic therapies and practices have been integrated in general wellness applications and in some cases in medical use.

Guatemala Republic in Central America

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Cardamom is the world's third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron. [5]

Vanilla A flavoring extracted from orchids of the genus Vanilla

Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, is translated simply as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlīlxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.

Saffron flower and spice

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". The vivid crimson stigmata and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron was long among the world's most costly spices by weight. Although some doubts remain on its origin, it is believed that saffron originated in Iran. However, Greece and Mesopotamia have also been suggested as the possible region of origin of this plant. C. sativus is possibly a triploid form of Crocus cartwrightianus. Saffron crocus slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.

Etymology

The word "cardamom" is derived from the Latin cardamomum, [6] which is the Latinisation of the Greek καρδάμωμον (kardamomon), [7] a compound of κάρδαμον (kardamon), "cress" [8] + ἄμωμον (amomon), which was probably the name for a kind of Indian spice plant. [9] The earliest attested form of the word κάρδαμον signifying "cress" is the Mycenaean Greek ka-da-mi-ja, written in Linear B syllabic script, [10] in the list of flavourings on the "Spice" tablets found among palace archives in the House of the Sphinxes in Mycenae. [11]

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Garden cress species of plant

Cress, sometimes referred to as garden cress to distinguish it from similar plants also referred to as cress, is a rather fast-growing, edible herb.

The modern genus name Elettaria is derived from the local name. The root ēlam is attested in all Dravidian languages [12] viz. Kannada elakki (ಏಲಕ್ಕಿ), Telugu yelakulu (యేలకులు), Tamil elakkai (ஏலக்காய்) and elakka (ഏലക്കായ്) in Malayalam. The second element kai means "seed" or "fruit". The Malabar region had historical trade connections and was a prominent area of cardamom cultivation. A related root is also present in Hindi elaichi (इलायची), Bengali ælachi (এলাচি), Sylheti elasi (ꠄꠟꠣꠌꠤ) and Punjabi elaichi (ਇਲੈਚ) "green cardamom". In Sindhi, it is called photta. In standard Afghan Pashto, it is called Hel. In Sanskrit, it was known as ela (एला) or ellka (एल्ल्का). In Marathi, it is commonly known as velchi (वेलची) or veldoda (वेलदोडा). [13] In Sri Lanka, the plant is known as enasal in the Sinhala language.

Bengali language Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Bengali people of South Asia

Bengali, also known by its endonym Bangla, is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia. It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. In 2015, 160 million speakers were reported for Bangladesh, and the 2011 Indian census counted another 100 million.

Sylheti language Indo-Aryan language spoken in India and Bangladesh

Sylheti is an Indo-Aryan language, primarily spoken in the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh the Barak Valley and in Hojai district of the Indian state of Assam. There is a substantial number of speakers in the Indian states of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura with smaller populations in Kolkata and Nagaland.

Sindhi language Indo-Aryan language spoken in South Asia

Sindhi is an Indo-Aryan language of the historical Sindh region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, spoken by the Sindhi people. It is the official language of the Pakistani province of Sindh. In India, Sindhi is one of the scheduled languages officially recognized by the central government, though Sindhi is not an official language of any of the states in India.

Types and distribution

The two main types of cardamom are:

<i>Elettaria cardamomum</i> species of plant

Elettaria cardamomum, commonly known as green or true cardamom, is a herbaceous, perennial plant in the ginger family, native to southern India. It is the most common of the species whose seeds are used as a spice called cardamom. It is cultivated widely in tropical regions and reportedly naturalized in Réunion, Indochina, and Costa Rica.

Black cardamom species of plant

Black cardamom, also known as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or brown cardamom, comes from either of two species in the family Zingiberaceae. Its seed pods have a strong, camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying. In Hindi it is called बड़ी इलाइची.

The two types of cardamom, κάρδαμομον and ἄμωμον, were distinguished in the fourth century BCE by the Greek father of botany, Theophrastus. Theophrastus and informants knew that these varieties were originally and solely from India. [16]

Uses

Both forms of cardamom are used as flavourings and cooking spices in both food and drink, and as a medicine. E. cardamomum (green cardamom) is used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine; it is also smoked. [17]

A dried cardamom and a peeled one Cardamom (Kerala, India).jpg
A dried cardamom and a peeled one

Food and beverage

Spice shop in Sri Lanka Spice shop in Kandy Market, Sri Lanka.jpg
Spice shop in Sri Lanka
Besides use as flavourant and spice in foods, cardamom-flavoured tea, also flavoured with cinnamon, is consumed as a hot beverage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. "Spiced" Tea - Flavoured by Cinnamon and Cardamom, Comilla, Bangladesh, 26 April 2014.jpg
Besides use as flavourant and spice in foods, cardamom-flavoured tea, also flavoured with cinnamon, is consumed as a hot beverage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smoky, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.

Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight [18] but little is needed to impart flavour. It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavour. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1 12 teaspoons of ground cardamom.

It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, in particular in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, where it is used in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Jule bread Julekake, the Swedish kardemummabullar sweet bun, and Finnish sweet bread pulla . In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Cardamom is used to a wide extent in savoury dishes. In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often ground in a wooden mortar, a mihbaj , and cooked together in a skillet, a mehmas, over wood or gas, to produce mixtures as much as 40% cardamom.

In Asia, both types of cardamom are widely used in both sweet and savory dishes, particularly in the south. Both are frequent components in spice mixes, such as Indian and Nepali masalas and Thai curry pastes. Green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in masala chai (spiced tea). Both are also often used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes. Individual seeds are sometimes chewed and used in much the same way as chewing gum. It is used by confectionery giant Wrigley; its Eclipse Breeze Exotic Mint packaging indicates the product contains "cardamom to neutralize the toughest breath odors". It is also included in aromatic bitters, gin, and herbal teas.

In Korea, medicinal cardamom ( Amomum villosum var. xanthioides) and black cardamom ( Amomum tsao-ko ) are used in traditional tea called jeho-tang .

Composition

Cardamom (E. cardamomum) essential oil in clear glass vial CardamonEssOil.png
Cardamom (E. cardamomum) essential oil in clear glass vial

The content of essential oil in the seeds is strongly dependent on storage conditions, but may be as high as 8%. In the oil were found α-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%, limonene 8%, menthone 6%, β-phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2% and heptane 2%. Other sources report 1,8-cineol (20 to 50%), α-terpenylacetate (30%), sabinene, limonene (2 to 14%), and borneol. [ citation needed ]

In the seeds of round cardamom from Java (A. kepulaga), the content of essential oil is lower (2 to 4%), and the oil contains mainly 1,8-cineol (up to 70%) plus β-pinene (16%); furthermore, α-pinene, α-terpineol and humulene were found. [19]

World production

By the early 21st century, Guatemala had become the largest producer of cardamom in the world, with an average annual yield between 25,000 and 29,000 tonnes. The plant was introduced there in 1914 by Oscar Majus Kloeffer, a German coffee planter. [4] [20] India, formerly the largest producer, since 2000 has been the second worldwide, [20] generating around 15,000 tonnes annually. [21]

Increased demand since the 1980s, principally from China, for both A. villosum and A. tsao-ko, has been met by farmers living at higher altitudes in localized areas of China, Laos, and Vietnam, people typically isolated from many other markets. [22] [23] [24]

See also

Related Research Articles

Zingiberaceae family of plants

Zingiberaceae or the ginger family is a family of flowering plants made up of about 50 genera with a total of about 1600 known species of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes distributed throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Allspice species of plant, allspice

Allspice, also called pimento, Jamaica pimento, Jamaica pepper, pimenta, or myrtle pepper, is the dried unripe fruit of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world. The name "allspice" was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

<i>Piper cubeba</i> species of plant

Piper cubeba, cubeb or tailed pepper is a plant in genus Piper, cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached – the "tails" in "tailed pepper". The dried pericarp is wrinkled, and its color ranges from grayish brown to black. The seed is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubebs is described as agreeable and aromatic and the taste as pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.

Cardamom may refer to:

Alligator pepper

Alligator pepper is a West African spice which corresponds to the seeds and seed pods of Aframomum danielli, A. citratum or A. exscapum. It is a close relative of grains of paradise, obtained from the closely related species, Aframomum melegueta. However, unlike grains of paradise which are generally sold as only the seeds of the plant, alligator pepper is sold as the entire pod containing the seeds.

<i>Aframomum corrorima</i> aframomum citratum

Aframomum corrorima is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The spice, known as Ethiopian cardamom, false cardamom, or korarima, is obtained from the plant's seeds, and is extensively used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is an ingredient in berbere, mitmita, awaze, and other spice mixtures, and is also used to flavor coffee. In Ethiopian herbal medicine, the seeds are used as a tonic, carminative, and laxative.

Grains of Selim Spice similar to black pepper

Grains of Selim are the seeds of a shrubby tree, Xylopia aethiopica, found in Africa. The seeds have a musky flavor and are used as a spice in a manner similar to black pepper, and as a flavouring agent that that defines café Touba, the dominant style of coffee in Senegal. It is also known as Kani pepper, Senegal pepper, Ethiopian pepper, and (historically) Moor pepper and Negro pepper. It also has many names in native languages of Africa, the most common of which is djar in the Wolof language. It is sometimes referred to as African pepper or Guinea pepper, but these are ambiguous terms that may refer to Ashanti pepper and grains of paradise, among others.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to herbs and spices:

<i>Amomum villosum</i> species of plant

Amomum villosum is a plant in the ginger family that is grown throughout Southeast Asia and in South China. Similar to cardamom, the plant is cultivated for its fruits, which dry into pods when mature and contain strongly aromatic seeds. A. villosum is an evergreen plant in the ginger family, grow in the shade of the tree, 1.5 to 3.0 m high, whose branches and leaves are similar to ginger’s. A. villosum has a characteristic that flowers spread on the ground can bear fruit while flowers on the branches can not. Its flowers bloom in March and April and are the color of white jade.

<i>Trigonella caerulea</i> species of plant

Trigonella caerulea is an annual herb in the family Fabaceae. It is 30–60 cm tall. Its leaves are obovate or lance-shaped, 2–5 cm long, 1–2 cm wide and saw-toothed in upper part. Its flower stalks are compact, globular racemes, longer than the leaves. The sepals are twice as short as the corolla, its teeth are equal to the tube. The corolla is 5.5-6.5 mm long and blue. The pods are erect or slightly curved, compressed, 4–5 mm long with beak 2 mm. The seeds are small and elongated. It blossoms in April–May, the seeds ripen in May–June. It is self-pollinated.

Cardamom production

Cardamom production employs plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Cultivation of cardamom was introduced to Guatemala before World War I by Oscar Majus Kloeffer; today Guatemala is the world's biggest producer and exporter, followed by India and Sri Lanka; Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the leading importers of the spice. After saffron and vanilla, cardamom is the third most expensive spice by weight.

Sichuan pepper spice, crude drug

Sichuan pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, Szechuan pepper, or Szechuan peppercorn, is a commonly used spice in Chinese cuisine, known as Hua Jiao (花椒). It is derived from at least two species of the global genus Zanthoxylum, including Z. simulans and Z. bungeanum. The genus Zanthoxylum belongs in the rue or citrus family, and, despite its name, is not closely related to either black pepper or the chili pepper.

Spice use in Antiquity

Spices have been around in conjunction with human use for millennia, many civilizations in antiquity used a variety of spices for their common qualities. The variety of spices were used for common purposes among the ancient world, and they were also used to create a variety of products designed to enhance or suppress certain sensations. Spices were also associated with certain rituals to perpetuate a superstition, or fulfill a religious obligation, among other things.

Amomum ovoideum is a widespread shade-demanding rhizomatous herb of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) native to Southeast Asia. It is perennial, producing leafy stems up to 3.0 m tall from a subterranean, long, and much-branched rhizome. The plant bears fruits up to 2 cm long, covered by slender, soft, red spines. When dried, the fruit produces cardamom seedpods similar to other cardamom spice plants.

References

  1. cardamon. dictionary.com
  2. Weiss, E. A. (2002). Spice Crops. CABI. p. 299. ISBN   978-0851996059.
  3. Weiss, E. A. (2002). Spice Crops. CABI. p. 300. ISBN   978-0851996059.
  4. 1 2 Shenoy Karun, Kerala cardamom trying to fight off its Guatemalan cousin", The Times of India, 21 April 2014; accessed 25 July 23014.
  5. Williams, Olivia (2014). Gin Glorious Gin. London: Headline Publishing Group. p. 283. ISBN   978-1-4722-1534-5.
  6. Lewis, Charlton T.; Short, Charles, "cardamomum", A Latin Dictionary, Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University
  7. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert, καρδάμωμον, A Greek-English Lexicon (in Ancient Greek), Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University
  8. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert, "κάρδαμον", A Greek-English Lexicon, Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University
  9. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert, "ἄμωμον", A Greek-English Lexicon (in Ancient Greek), Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University
  10. "ka-da-mi-ja" at Palaeolexicon
  11. Chadwick, John, ed. (1963), "The Mycenae Tablets, 3", Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (New Series ed.), 52 (7)
  12. Burrow, Thomas; Emeneau, M. B. A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary . Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  13. "cardamom - translation - English-Marathi Dictionary - Glosbe". Glosbe.
  14. Bhide, Monica. "Queen of Spices", Saveur , 8 March 2010. Retrieved on 4 December 2014.
  15. Katzer, Gernot. "Spice Pages: Cardamom Seeds (Elettaria cardamomum)". gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  16. Theophrastus IX.vii.2
  17. "The Uses of Cardamom". Garden Guides. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  18. "Is Cardamom a Spice?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  19. see Farooq Anwar, Ali Abbas, Khalid M. Alkharfy, Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani (2015). Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum Maton) Oils. In Victor R. Preedy, (Ed.) (2015) Essential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety. Amsterdam: Academic Press. ISBN   978-0-12-416641-7. Chapter 33 (pages 295-301). doi : 10.1016/B978-0-12-416641-7.00033-X.
  20. 1 2 Álvarez, Lorena; Gudiel, Vernick (14 February 2008). "Cardamom prices leads to a re-emergence of the green gold". El Periodico (in Spanish).
  21. Batres, Alexis (6 August 2012). "Looking for new markets". El Periodico (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014.
  22. Buckingham, J.S. & Petheram, R.J. 2004, Cardamom cultivation and forest biodiversity in northwest Vietnam, Agricultural Research and Extension Network, Overseas Development Institute, London UK.
  23. Sarah Turner, Christine Bonnin, and Jean Michaud (2017) Frontier Livelihoods: Hmong in the Sino-Vietnamese Borderlands. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Pp. 104-124.
  24. Aubertine, C. 2004, Cardamom (Amomum spp.) in Lao PDR: the hazardous future of an agroforest system product, in 'Forest products, livelihoods and conservation: case studies of non-timber forest products systems vol. 1-Asia, Center for International Forestry Research. Bogor, Indonesia.

Bibliography