Cardamom

Saffron, vanilla, cardamom, those are the most expensive spices, in order. Good stuff, used in Middle Eastern, South Asian and Nordic cuisines.

There are really just two types of cardamom, green and black. Black cardamom is actually a different thing completely, so I should really say there is only one cardamom (do not substitute black cardamom for green, not the same flavor).

You will see white cardamom, this is just bleached green (for use in baking or other times the flavor is desired but the color is not). You will see cardamom seeds, the husk has just been removed. Other names like red, brown, Java, etc. cardamoms are justĀ  black cardamom names.

There are different varieties of green cardamom, and different regions where they are grown. The main two varieties are Mysore and Malabar, both from India. Mysore is stronger and more aromatic. Generally speaking, however, there is not much difference between most types, freshness should be the deciding factor.

Get the whole pods with the husks on and remove them if the recipe calls for seeds. Toasted, fried or raw, each method gives a different flavor, but the seeds are generally toasted before grinding and adding to a recipe.

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