Cardamom come in three varieties; white, green and black. The seeds grow with a pod or shell. The outer shell has little flavor, where as the seed is intensely flavorful. Black cardamom is a staple in African cooking, and has a unique smoky flavor. Green cardamom is light pistachio and is the size of a cranberry. There are approximately 20 seeds in a pod. It takes roughly 3,000 seeds to make one pound of cardamom.
In the Mid East, the seeds are mixed with green coffee beans before brewing. In Northern Europe, the white seeds are used in baked goods, such as Christmas Stollen. The Green seeds are preferred in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Indians and Arabs use the seeds to freshen their breath after spicy meals. It is also used as a medicine, an aphrodisiac and a perfume.The Holy Hindu scriptures note the fact that warm spices increase the production of bodily heat.
Cardamom is 3rd expensive spice in the world behind saffron and vanilla. Cardamom will stay fresh indefinitely if kept in an airtight container. Cardamom is grown in Asia, South America, and the Pacific Islands.