What was in my Turkish Coffee?
I've developed quite a taste for Turkish Coffee lately. Frequenting Manhattan finer (and lesser) Falafel joints have left me with plenty of opprotunities to taste the city's Turkish Coffee. Sometimes it tastes like a wet paper bag and sometimes it's a dream come true. My wife and I stopped into Hummus Place down in St. Mark's last night and while the Turkish Coffee was pretty great, there was a taste in it I couldn't place. The menu didn't seem to indicate any additives (Although their take-home stuff noted the addition of cardamom), but there was certainly a spice involved. The waitress told us it was "Hayl" (She pronounced it "Hell"), which a little bit of research tells me is likely Cardamom. But it just didn't taste like cardamom.
Is there a way of preparing cardamom for use in Turkish Coffee that makes it taste, well, less like Cardamom? The taste was almost lemon-y, light and clean. Have I just been frequenting terrible Turkish Coffee stands or was my brew hopped up on something new?
No "likely" about it. "Hayl" is Arabic for cardamom. What you describe as not tasting like cardamom sounds like cardamom to me. Maybe you need to find a new place to buy your cardamom. :)
Hayl is cardamom.
I am thinking they added fresh cardamom seeds split out from the pods into the coffee grounds-not cardamom powder as you may have used, smelled or tasted.
Buy some cardamom in pods-green or white- and peel off the pods to get to the teensy black seeds inside. Those most likely were added whole to the coffee grounds.
I extract the seeds that way then use a mortar and pestle to grind up seeds only for baking- the cardamom powder you buy is the whole- seeds and pod ground up. It is 'diluted' in a flavor sense.
When I said "fresh" seed pods- I meant that you take the black seeds out of the dried pod shells. I have had some in a jar on the shelf since last year and just crushed off the paper-ish pod and the little seeds inside are moist and still very pungent...so you don't have to look for 'fresh' cardamom. If you can find them in a bulk bin place then you don't have to buy too many, plus the turnover is likely to be faster.
Just wanted to clarify.