Jone Lewis' Scandinavian Cooking Scandinavian cuisine: recipes, tips and articles
Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic
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Cardamom

When I taste cardamom in a bread, cookie or cake, I immediately assume it's a Scandinavian recipe.  And the smell of cardamom rising from the oven is enough to make me homesick for my mother's or grandmother's cooking!

Cardamom give a unique taste and aroma to Swedish and other Scandinavian baked goods. Its sweet, delicate flavor combines well with almond, another Scandinavian favorite.   You'll find it in some Swedish meatball recipes, too, where it contributes both aroma and a spicy sweetness.

You'll also find cardamom flavoring Arab coffee, African tea, and spicy main dishes in India, Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa. But this is usually the black cardamom seed, while the green cardamom seed is used in Scandinavian cooking.    The cardamom plant is a member of the ginger family and grows well on mountains.  Cardamom originated in India and Sri Lanka, but is today also grown in South America and elsewhere. Vikings brought the spice home through their extensive trade route with India and the Far East.

You can buy ground cardamom, but for a more authentic taste you'll want to look for cardamom pods or cardamom seeds.  The pods or seeds are best ground in a mortar and pestle just before using.  You can also roll over them with a rolling pin to crush them.  Discard the white pod pieces either before or after grinding the cardamom seeds found within the pods.

On this site: three recipes that include cardamom:

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