Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is the world’s third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. It is in the Ginger family and grows from a rhizome, which needs dividing every 3 years. Unlike ginger it is the seed pod that is used as a spice. Cardamon’s cultivation, including maintaining the right amount of shade, is labour intensive so it can be a good crop for smallholder families in remote communities. Its natural habitat is the understory of tropical rainforests, which means that establishing cardamon plantations can be environmentally destructive. A rainforest might look intact from the air, but underneath the canopy the natural vegetation has all been cleared for cardamom plantations. So, it’s worth buying certified cardamom.
Why not try this Moroccan cardamom and orange cake recipe?