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Cardamom: The Distant Relative of The Ginger

Did you know that Cardamom, Ginger, and Turmeric all belong to the same family? Both turmeric and ginger are roots of the family while Cardamom is the seed of the plant.

Cardamom is a well-known spice native to Southeast Asia and Europe - the little pods bursting with incredible flavour. Growing cardamom is hugely time-consuming. The tall plants are grown on plantations in India, Nepal, Indonesia. However, the biggest producer of cardamom in the world is Guatemala, which flowers for about nine months of the year. Indian, Arabic, and Scandinavian use cardamom in their cuisines.

There are two varieties, black and green. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices right after vanilla and saffron. Green cardamom is more widely used in cooking and baking for its uniquely refreshing taste. The black cardamom, on the other hand, is three times the size of the green one and has a very bold smoky aroma with a cooling effect similar to mint. One could find them in whole pods, broken or crushed.

While cardamom is treated as a spice and mainly used in cooking, the Middle East has been combining green cardamom together with tea and coffee for its cooling effects as well as a flavoring agent. One of the most popular spiced tea is called masala chai originating in India. Apart from herbal teas cardamom found its way to aromatic bitters, gin, and chewing gum industry (Wrigley’s Eclipse Breeze Exotic Mint).

Cardamom is also excellent for aiding digestion and helps relieve motion sickness too. It can also be used as a breath freshener and work as a great “detoxicant”. Goodbye toxins!

Cocktail recipe:

Eclipse Breeze

150 ml Plain low-fat yogurt 6 tablespoons caster sugar 4 large ice cubes 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 45 ml good old school London Dry gin 5 ml orange juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients all properly mixed.

2. Pour into glass and serve cold.

3. Garnish with pea tendril.

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