Cardamom

Cardamom is a fruit of the same-named perennial plant. To become spices, this fruits need to be dried and thoroughly crushed. This spice is sold in such a form most often. Cardamom is quite expensive and has been reasonably nicknamed the “king of spices”. It has a sharp burning taste and a very spicy, piquant aroma with lemon and camphor shades. The color of this spicy powder is beige.

The native lands of the plant are the Malabar Coast of India and the evergreen forests of Sri Lanka. Today cardamom is cultivated not only in these regions, but also in Laos, Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia and other southern countries.

Cardamom in cooking

Spice is popular all over the world, especially in Asia and Europe. First of all, the product is used as an ingredient for confectionery:

  • sweet fillings;
  • custards;
  • cookies and gingerbread;
  • dessert baking;
  • oriental sweets;
  • buns with raisins;
  • honey-cakes;
  • poppy pies and so on.

However, the flavor and fragrant qualities of cardamom are quite applicable for the cooking of some unsweetened products, for example — cereals, sausages, cheeses, sauces, gravies, marinades, seafood and so on. Cardamom is added to beverages, among which there are Arabic and Turkish coffee, some types of liquors, grog, punch and mulled wine. This product has an excellent compatibility with other spices: saffron, marjoram, cumin, red pepper, etc.

Interesting to know

Until the XIX century cardamom was not being cultivated and grew only wild. But despite the fact that the cultivation of this plant is a very laborious process, people all the same decided to grow it on plantations. More generally cardamom gained its popularity in ancient times — as a seasoning and a remedy.

The medical application of this spice is still relevant. In the essential oil of the fruits there are fatty oil, protein, cineole and other substances, useful for humans. Cardamom is recommended as a natural antiseptic, for migraine and asthma, for improving metabolism and gastric function. The spice contains antioxidants, can tone up the body and detoxify it. Product will be useful for people with melancholic, depressive and apathetic states. Seeds of the plant can suppress nausea and vomiting, help to get rid of bad breath, serve as a tonic for the heart.

Also cardamom is effective for combating diseases of the respiratory tract, strengthening the eyesight and as an antimicrobial agent. However, you should consume this spice carefully, because the product is very sharp.

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