Cardamom

Last updated

Cardamom
Elettaria cardamomum - Kohler-s Medizinal-Pflanzen-057.jpg
True cardamom (E. cardamomum)
100 Cardamom pods.jpg
Processed Cardamom pods
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
(unranked):
(unranked):
(unranked):
Order:
Family:
Genera
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.

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 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]

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

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] The modern genus name Elettaria is derived from the root ēlam attested in Dravidian languages. [12]

Types and distribution

The two main types of cardamom are:

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. [15]

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. [16]

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 [17] 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 Yule 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. [18]

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] [19] India, formerly the largest producer, since 2000 has been the second worldwide, [19] generating around 15,000 tonnes annually. [20]

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. [21] [22] [23]

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.

Black cardamom species of plant

Amomum subulatum, also known as Black cardamom, hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, big cardamon, or brown cardamom, is a perennial herbaceous plant 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.

Allspice pungent fruit of the Pimenta dioica

Allspice, also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento, is the dried unripe berry 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 valued it as a spice that combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

<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.

Berbere spice mixture in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Berbere, is a spice mixture whose constituent elements usually include chili peppers, coriander, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek. It is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

<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.

Cardamom may refer to:

Alligator pepper spice made from the seeds of Aframomum species

Alligator pepper is a West African spice made from 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. 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> species of plant

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 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 called 'Etso' in the Ewe language of Ghana. 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:

Masala chai Flavoured tea beverage made with aromatic spices and herbs

Masala chai is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. Although traditionally prepared as a decoction of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates.

<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 is a spice from the Sichuan cuisine of China's southwestern Sichuan Province. It has a unique aroma and flavor that is neither hot like chili peppers nor pungent like black pepper. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth due to hydroxy-α-sanshool. It is commonly used in Sichuanese dishes such as mapo doufu and Chongqing hot pot, and is often added together with chili peppers to create a flavor known in Mandarin as málà.

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 m (9.8 ft) tall from a subterranean, long, and much-branched rhizome. The plant bears fruits up to 2 cm (0.79 in) 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. Bhide, Monica. "Queen of Spices", Saveur , 8 March 2010. Retrieved on 4 December 2014.
  14. Katzer, Gernot. "Spice Pages: Cardamom Seeds (Elettaria cardamomum)". gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  15. Theophrastus IX.vii.2
  16. "The Uses of Cardamom". Garden Guides. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  17. "Is Cardamom a Spice?". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  18. 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.
  19. 1 2 Álvarez, Lorena; Gudiel, Vernick (14 February 2008). "Cardamom prices leads to a re-emergence of the green gold". El Periodico (in Spanish).
  20. Batres, Alexis (6 August 2012). "Looking for new markets". El Periodico (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014.
  21. 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.
  22. Sarah Turner, Christine Bonnin, and Jean Michaud (2017) Frontier Livelihoods: Hmong in the Sino-Vietnamese Borderlands. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Pp. 104-124.
  23. 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