Cardamom, also known as cardamon, is a small spice with a distinctive aroma. It has a papery outer shell with black seeds on the inside. Cardamom is a popular spice in Asian countries, and it is used as a spice in everyday meals by the locals. Cardamoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Light green and black are the two colors available, and they’re both used as seasonings. A small amount of this spice can give your dishes a unique and beautiful flavor.
Cardamoms have a long shelf life because they are dry spices. You will get the most out of the spice if you keep it away from unfavorable conditions. Ground cardamoms have a shorter shelf life than raw cardamoms. Throw it away if it shows mold, discoloration, or other damage. It’s better to throw it out than eat something that might make you sick.
What is Exactly Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice derived from the seed pods of various ginger plants. Cardamom pods have a triangular cross-section and are spindle-shaped. Although the cardamom pods contain several seeds, the entire pod can be used whole or ground. The seeds are small and black, and the pods vary in size and color depending on the species.
Varieties of Cardamom
Cardamom comes in black and green Cardamom and white Cardamom, a bleached version of green Cardamom. Green Cardamom is most commonly used in Nordic and Middle Eastern cuisines, while Indian and Asian recipes often specify whether green or black Cardamom is used. True Cardamom is green Cardamom (Elettaria cardamom). This is the most common variety in the supermarket’s spice section.
It’s ideal for sweet dishes, but it works well in savory ones. White Cardamom, which has been breached, has a milder flavor. It is cultivated in tropical climates such as India, Malaysia, and Costa Rica. The dark brown pods of black cardamom (Amomum subulatum) are larger. It has a smoky flavor that lends itself to savory dishes, but it is also used in sweet dishes in southern India. It is grown in the Himalayan foothills to the east.
Taste of Cardamom
The flavor of Cardamom varies depending on the variety. Green Cardamom has a herbal flavor and is also known as true Cardamom. It has a peppery, eucalyptus, and mint flavor to it. Cumin is sweeter than green Cardamom, and it does have a stronger citrus flavor than fennel. Black Cardamom, on the other hand, has a smoky undertone. It has a taste almost identical to the original with a slight addition. It’s also sometimes found with a cooling menthol flavor. So, before using it in your dishes, think about its taste and flavor.
How to Tell If Cardamom is Bad?
Cardamoms, for example, rarely go bad, and they may only go bad if they are exposed to unfavorable conditions. Aside from that, they’re fine at room temperature, and they only begin to lose their flavor and aroma after the expiration date on the package has passed.
Bad cardamoms show the following signs:
- Any discoloration in the cardamoms causes the spice to be bad and rotten.
- If the cardamoms are mushy and out of the texture, don’t eat them. Use only the crispy ones.
- Ensure the cardamoms you’re using are free of odors and other contaminants. If the spice emits an unusual odor, discard it right away.
- Do not use the grounded cardamoms if they have mold or oil.
- If the cardamoms don’t have a flavor that appeals to your senses, the spice is probably old. As a result, toss that out as well.
How Long does the Cardamom Last?
Cardamom has a long shelf life if not exposed to unfavorable conditions. The spice will stay good and healthy to eat as long as it is kept cool and dry. The ground and raw cardamoms have a slight difference in flavor. Ground cardamoms last a little longer than raw cardamoms. This spice secretes oil. Even if cardamoms are stored in airtight containers, the oil is released in powdered form. So.
The ground cardamoms will last for about 8 to 9 months if stored properly. Raw cardamoms, on the other hand, last a long time. Even at room temperature, they last for 2 to 3 years. This is only true if the spice is properly stored and all safety precautions are taken. The frozen cardamoms last even longer, and they can be stored in the freezer for 3 to 4 years.
How to Store Cardamoms?
Dry cardamoms can be kept at room temperature in any part of the kitchen, and they’ll look great if they’re placed in the right spots. This article will teach you everything you need to know about your favorite spice, so keep reading. Keep your fragrant cardamoms in the following locations around your house.
At a Cool and Dry Place
The cardamoms will never go bad unless and until they are stored in a cool, dry location. The cardamoms are available in two forms: ground and raw. They prefer a cool, dry environment, and they will not spoil. After the best by date, only the cardamom seeds will lose their flavor.
In Tightly Sealed Containers
Make sure your spices are kept in airtight containers. Spices do not like being exposed to the air and other things. To avoid air interaction, keep them in airtight containers, and your spice will last longer this way. The formation of mold on food products is aggravated by exposure to the air. As a result, make sure your containers are well-sealed.
Away from Moisture and Sunlight
Sunlight and Moisture are the worst enemies of spices like Cardamom. Sunlight and Moisture will quickly spoil whether the cardamoms are ground or unground. The cardamoms wilt when exposed to sunlight. In addition, the spice loses its flavor faster than other spices. The cardamoms’ outer layer is so delicate that heat sources can damage it.
On the other hand, Moisture is not good for spices like cardamoms. When ground cardamoms become clumpy and soggy when exposed to Moisture, raw cardamoms are in the same boat, becoming soggy and foul-tasting.
Can We Freeze Cardamom?
If you’re concerned about Cardamom’s shelf life, you can try freezing the spice. Otherwise, the cardamoms do not need to be frozen because they last longer at room temperature. Place the spice in an airtight jar and freeze. Cardamoms can be frozen to increase their shelf life even more than those kept at room temperature. One disadvantage is that frozen cardamoms do not have the same fresh flavor as fresh cardamoms.
Whole vs. Ground Cardamoms
Many black cardamom recipes call for using the entire pod, including the seeds. After cooking, the pods are discarded because chewing the entire pod is unpleasant. If you’re going to use green Cardamom in a recipe, you should start with whole pods. Because the essential oils of the cardamom seed lose their flavor relatively quickly after grinding, ground cardamom (i.e., cardamom powder) from the spice section will be less flavorful.
Once the Cardamom plant gets ready for cultivation, the fruits are picked. These fruits hang over the stem. You can either clip them or pick them by hand. However, the fruits, i.e., Cardamom pods, are picked before maturity. Afterward, they are cleansed and washed. Once done with washing, the pods are left to dry. You can either put it under direct sunlight and let it naturally dry. Or you can also use any heated curing chamber to dry it. And the Cardamom pods are ready for use. However, you should remove the skin and take out the seed for using seeds. Besides, you can also use any grinder to get the ground form of this spice.
How is Cardamom Used in Cooking?
You can use powdered Cardamom in place of ground cardamom in recipes that call for it, but the pods will give you more flavor. For a few minutes in a dry skillet, toast green cardamom pods. Remove the seeds from the pods after a minute of cooling. To add flavor to coffee or tea, save the pods. Grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle, or use a spice grinder with a motor (like a coffee grinder) to get the best results.
f you’re making coffee with green Cardamom, grind three to four seeds with your coffee beans and pour hot water over them as usual. Although some cultures grind the entire pod, using the seeds is perfectly fine. If you don’t have any Cardamom and need to cook something, you can use some substitutes. Cinnamon and allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cinnamon and ginger are the most common substitutes.
If you’re looking for the best ground and whole forms of Cardamom, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the best Cardamom products. So, the next time you require them, think about purchasing them.
Is Black or Green Cardamom Better?
Apart from the obvious differences in size and appearance, there are a few key distinctions between green and black Cardamom that every cook should be aware of:
The green Cardamom comes from the Elettaria cardamomum species, whereas the black or longer Cardamom comes from the Amomum subulatum species. Both varieties are grown in India, but they are processed differently. The green cardamom pods are harvested before the plant matures to full maturity, and the black cardamom pods are harvested much later and dried over large fire pits.
Flavour and Usage
Both the pod and the seeds of green Cardamom are used to flavor the spice. Only the seeds of black Cardamom are used, while the pods are discarded. The black Cardamom has a smoky, camphor-like flavor, while the green Cardamom has a strong and intense aroma and flavor. The flavor of black Cardamom is sometimes compared to that of mint, but both types of Cardamom are used to flavor foods and beverages.
Green Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices globally by weight, even though you only need a seed or two to flavor your food or tea. Green cardamom pods or whole green Cardamom are more expensive than cardamom powder because the grinding process degrades the quality. The black Cardamom is less expensive than the green Cardamom because the pods are used less frequently.
Although Cardamom is native to South India and is widely produced there, most Cardamom sold in the United States comes from Guatemala. According to Frisch, German settlers brought it there in the early 1900s to grow alongside their coffee crops. Cardamom plants thrived in Guatemala, and the country has since become the world’s largest spice producer. What’s the fun part? Cardamom is almost entirely exported from Guatemala, and it is rarely used in the country’s cuisine. Cardamom has a long shelf life, but it cannot go well if not properly stored. If you see any of the signs listed above, you should throw them away.