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Apr 16, 2011 11:09 AM

Cardamom - Acquired taste? Or is a spice that is either loved or hated?

I just ate something with cardamom in it and it tasted like perfume. Coincidentally, I did have perfume in the same shopping bag. I double checked and the wrapper was sealed and the perfume did not leak. So is it me or does/can cardamom taste like perfume. This is my second run in with it and I am still on the fence.

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  1. Yes and yes. It is an unusual spice and different from what is often encountered, that perfume is part of it.
    The first time I encountered cardamom was at an Indian restaurant, it was whole in my dish and I bit down on it just as I swallowed. The intensity of the flavor and essence hit caused an immediate nose bleed. Powerful stuff. I like it. For some it may be an instant like or dislike, for others, because it is a new and different taste, take some getting to know.

    I think it is sorta like cilantro was 15-20 years ago. And now you find that stuff in everything!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quine

      Jeez, that sounds terrible. I have never been to an Indian restaurant but now I will know what to be on the look out for. I am not totally off it yet but I thought I was cracking up when it tasted like what I would imagine Chanel No.5 would taste like.

    2. The perfume may smell like cardamom, but cardamom does not smell like perfume.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen

        OP said it "tasted" like perfume..and i've heard that more than once. i personally adore cardamom when used properly, but even i find the floral notes too powerful sometimes, particularly in the pre-ground bottled stuff.

        1. re: jaykayen

          The taster perceived it tasted like perfume, and that is all one can know. Does it not taste like that to you, how can the OP know. Cilantro is often described as tasting like soap by first timers, does it actually?
          Yes cardamom has a resiny, spicy flavor and aroma. It is often used in fragrances. If a person first comes into contact with cardamom in a fragrance, then the first actual taste will probably remind them of that.

        2. Put three or four into the water or stock you next cook basmati rice in. Adds a subtle dimension, and makes the kitchen smell good.

          1 Reply
          1. Cardamom does have a strong flavor and scent, particularly when used fresh ground or crushed from the pod. I really enjoy the flavor, especially in baked goods with walnuts or almonds, apples or many different kinds of berries, raspberries and cranberries are well complemented. It's great in rice pilafs, or other grain dishes served warm. But, you do need to use it judiciously, because it can overwhelm other flavors.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amyzan

              I adore cardamom but never buy it ground.

            2. I like both the fragrance and the taste, but I do tie crushed pods in cheesecloth so that guest won't bite down on whole cardamom. I use both white and black cardamom (do lots of Indian cooking, too).