Cardamoms - Drink Secrets


The name for two genera of herbs within the ginger family known in Latin as Zingiberaceae, more specifically Elettaria and Amomum. The two different types of cardamom will be described here:


1. Latin name: Elettaria cardamomum Common names: Green cardamom, True Cardamom, Ceylon Cardamom. Uses: Dried and grounded can be used in Indian and other Asian cuisine, being the most widely cultivated and therefore most popular type of cardamom, it is used in the process of making many different kinds of curries, and is also used as flavoring in the Masala Chai and in the Middle East it is commonly used in coffee and tea.


2. Latin name: Amomum subulatum, Amomum costatum. Common names: Black Cardamom, Brown Cardamom. Uses: Can be used in soups, chowders, casseroles, and marinades to give the dish a smoky flavor. In India, black cardamom has a lot of uses including being a major ingredient in savory dal and some rice dishes. In the central-western Chinese province of Sichuan black cardamom is commonly used in different long-braised meat dishes, it has also been known to be used in China as a medicine to treat stomach disorders and malaria.


Both types of cardamom has a strong and unique taste with a strong fragrance. Green cardamom is considered to be the most exclusive and expensive spice and has one of the most expensive spices in the world, this is why large-scale bakers often use black cardamom as a cheaper substitute. Green cardmom has been known to have been used to treat different infections of the teeth and gum, tuberculosis, and different digestive disorders.


Black cardamom is used in traditional Chinese-, Indian-, Japenese-, Korean-, and Vietnamese- medicine, where it is often used to treat several types of digestion disorders. Cardamom is even smoked in some parts of the world and is used as food by the larva of the moth known as Endoclita Hosei.


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