June 25, 2024

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If you’re thinking about warm spices, the first thing that comes to mind might be cinnamon, ginger, or even pumpkin pie spice! But there’s another must-have spice for the cozy season: cardamom! Also called the “queen of spices,” cardamom is a beloved spice used around the world. It’s especially popular for adding unique flavor to Christmas desserts and warmth to a cup of chai tea, but it can also be used in savory dishes, too. So, what exactly is cardamom? And where can you find it? Read on for everything you need to know about the complex flavor of cardamom and how to use it! Hint: it’s the star ingredient in Swedish cardamom buns!

Originating in southern India (but mostly grown in Guatemala today), cardamom is one of those spices that can be used in a variety of ways. When ground, cardamom can be added to popular Christmas treats, like Ree Drummond’s spicy molasses cookies and pumpkin cheesecake. But you can also find it in pods or seeds. In fact, cardamom is popular addition to curries in India and meat dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine. Not to mention, there are three different varieties of cardamom—each with their own flavor! Don’t worry, we’ve broken them all down below so you can be prepared to stock your pantry.

What is cardamom?

Cardamom is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of the cardamom plant. It’s a relative to ginger that’s often used in both sweet and savory recipes around the world, including Scandinavian countries, India, and the Middle East. You can find cardamom in pods, seeds, or ground at many supermarkets these days. And in two main varieties: green (the most common type of cardamom) and black (a variety of cardamom that’s been smoked and dried). There’s also white cardamom, which is basically just green cardamom that’s been bleached so it has a more mellow flavor.

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What does cardamom taste like?

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what cardamom tastes like—and that’s what makes it so unique! It’s sweet, warm, spicy, and a little bit floral. Black cardamom will give off a smokier flavor, while green cardamom has more citrusy notes.

What is cardamom used for?

In baked goods, cardamom is used for making holiday cookies, spiced cakes, and Christmas breads. It’s a sweet addition to Mexican wedding cookies or homemade rugelach, and it’s the key to making a chai tea latte. Of course, you can also use cardamom for coffee recipes or mulled wine. And in savory dinner recipes, cardamom is a nice way to add warmth to curries, stews, and soups.

What is a substitute for cardamom?

Since the flavor of cardamom is so complex, it’s hard to give just one substitute as a replacement. Instead, try a combination of other warm spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and clove in case your other spices go bad.

Green Cardamom Pods

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Green Cardamom Pods

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Green Cardamom Pods

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$14.99

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Green Cardamom Pods

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$14.99

Organic Ground Cardamom

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Organic Ground Cardamom

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$6.99

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Organic Ground Cardamom

amazon.com

$6.99

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Organic Ground Cardamom

amazon.com

$6.99

Black Cardamom Pods

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Black Cardamom Pods

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$7.99

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Black Cardamom Pods

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$7.99

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Black Cardamom Pods

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$7.99

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