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What does cardamon taste like?

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  • SLL1065 Mar 8, 2006 03:01 PM
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Hey everyone,

Can someone tell me what cardamon tastes like? I'm creating my own version of dessert couscous and this spiece was suggested to me.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Taste is very subjective, but to me, cardamon tastes citrusy. It pairs very well with pistachios.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Thanks, I think I may use it now. My version will include chopped pistachios. But, how do you think it will pair with cinnamon and granulated sugar? And, how much would you suggest using? I think for starters, 1/4th tsp for cinnamon & sugar.

      1. re: SLL1065

        Getting into specifics of the recipe probably should go on the Home Cooking board.

        But as others posters mentioned, cardamon can be a strong -- and distinctive -- flavor. You should try it for yourself and see if you want it to be the predominant spice or a just a background note. Although it's often used along with cinnamon in Middle Eastern/South Asian dishes, you might want to use it on its own to get the full effect.

        And be careful combining it with cinnamon -- since both spices have strong flavors it would be easy to overspice your dish using both of them.

        1. re: SLL1065

          It is common in some Swedish coffee breads, sweet rolls and cookies. In India, it is used in both sweet and savory dishes.

          paulj

          Link: http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

          1. re: SLL1065

            use very little. it's strong.

            but even if you don't like it in your recipe, hightail it to your nearest swedish bakery or stop by an IKEA and get some sweet yeast roll mix, fix it up with ground cardamom, and a layer of apricot jam. it's takes a harder heart than mine not to adore it in this.

            by the way, cardamom is a good smell to know if you like wine. it's a rarity, but every now and then, if you get a slight wiff of the sweet spice of cardamom, you'll be ecstatic to be able place it.

        2. Cardomon is very strong and aromatic. It has a spicy, herbal, citrusy character and goes very well with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and other aromatic spices. Also with citrus such as preserved lemons, lemon or orange zest, etc. It's one of my favorite spices. I always add a pinch or a pod to my coffee grinds for a middle east zing. Ground cardomon is also a bit pricey, but as a little goes a long way, and it keeps for quite awhile, it's worth it.

          Cardomon goes very well with all fruits, rice and grains, strong meats such as lamb, and anything sweet. I also like to add a small amount to a bottle of inexpensive gin or vodka to amp up the flavor.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JMF

            I buy green cardamom pods at my international grocery, Baldana is the brand and it is fairly inexpensive, 1/2 lb. for $4.59. I just grind it in my spice grinder and sift out the chaff after grinding. I will never buy the outrageously priced pre-ground again. Along with what the others have said I also detect a slight note of eucalptus in the crushed pod.

            1. re: Candy

              I also buy the green cardamon pods, only the best from Penzeys. I also grind the whole pods sometimes, but the flavor is different from when you decorticate the seeds and just grind them. The price per ounce for just the ground seeds is still high, the seeds make up only about 1/3 of the pod. I also agree about the touch of eucaliptus and/or menthol to the flavor. it is actually hard to descibe other than to say it tastes like cardomon.

              1. re: JMF

                I rarely shop at Penzy's unless there is something I need now and I am near the stre. Pendery's is my fresh spice source. especially for chilis. www.penderys.com The best and freshest.

          2. If you've ever had chai tea, it often features cardamom among other more familiar spices.

            1. If you just want a light cardamon flavor, you could put the whole pods into the water for your couscous, then remove them before serving.

              If you dont want to use whole cardamon, I recommend starting with the green pods, removing the seeds and grinding them for the freshest most delicious flavor. Its a beautifully aromatic spice.

              ps. rather than asking, why not go out and buy some green cardamon and sniff the pods? Indian and middle eastern stores are best, for freshness.

              1. d
                Das Ubergeek

                Cardamom is highly aromatic and has a slight astringent tang to it as well as a "warm" characteristic. It's one of my favourite spices -- in fact, when I make Swedish ringbread (which requires the seeds), I take the empty pods and bury them in a canister of white sugar, the same way you can bury spent vanilla pods for vanilla sugar. After a week, the sugar has become impregnated with the flavour of cardamom. I use the cardamom sugar in tea and coffee.

                Be aware that a little goes a long way -- for three rings of Swedish bread, I use the seeds from 20 pods, though I use the white pods, not the green.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Definitely agree with a little goes a long way, like nutmeg it can overpower and seem "hot" and "bitter" if you cross that line. Freshness is important too, as the seeds aromatic oils are somewhat perishable.

                  That's a great idea to flavor sugar. You can also steep them in black tea, Persian style.

                  White cardamom is a major Scandinavian spice, giving Danish pastry and bread doughs that special aroma and warmth. Def one of my faves, Das Ubergeek's house must smell like mine!

                2. My dad shoved one up his nose once when he was a little kid and had to go to the hospital to have it removed - i wouldn't suggest smelling it with any sort of intensity!!!!!!!!

                  1. Short answer: a combination of ginger and cinnamon.

                    That's the feedback I get from people who've never tasted it before. Those who eat it all the time come up with much more complex answers (probably because they've had more time to think about it).