Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Each month at our Flora meeting I give little treats. Often of new products for everyone to try, a tea, perfume or balm that we sell. I also like to share a bit of tincture or herb that seems right for the season, or just that I have an abundance of.
This month we had two meetings as we spent much of the first one putting finishing touches on the pop-up shop that opened November 8th. That meeting we had lots of chocolate.
Another meeting followed a week later. I presented cardamom pods with a few tips on how to I use them and I realized I did not know exactly how they grow.

Cardamom is one of my favorite ingredients in perfumery as well as cooking, but not one I have too deep of knowledge about.

Here are a few interesting things to know about this magic pod:
Cardamom belongs to the Ginger family.

Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices, only vanilla and saffron are more dear.

Cardamom is not only used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, but is also a key ingredient in the Finnish bread, Pulla.

In the middle East cardamom is often ground up with coffee to create a magical hot drink.

Cardamom is, of course, a key ingredient in Chai or Masala Chai. There are a million variations of Chai, but if you're not including cardamom, it can't be that good.

One of our favorite teas at Flora is our house blended Dandelion Chai, which boasts a huge percentage of gorgeous organic cardamom pods.

Wrigley made a chewing gum with cardamom not so long ago, but made claims that it would "neutralize the toughest mouth odor" and now is off the market due to a class action law suit.

It is suggested that if you are out of cardamom, you can substitute equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but in a pinch, go for it.

Cardamom is a traded commodity. Maybe everything is.

Cardamom (purported) health benefits include
Digestive stimulant
reduces bad breath
reduces heartburn
can help with IBS
nourishes the kidneys and bladder
high in iron and potassium
can help with sore mouth and throat

Cardamom pods can be chewed like gum and kill germs in the gums, making your breath fresh.
All cardamom is handpicked.

This is by no means a full description of this amazing plant, rather a few tidbits to go along with the bags of cardamom pods handed out at a meeting.

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