In a nutshell: Sourced from the Cardamom Hills in South-Eastern India, this variety is rare and extremely fragrant and will infuse all your curries, rice dishes and pastries with surprising flavour.
The ancient Cardamom Hills of southeastern Kerala have long been home to some of the world’s greatest cardamom. The hills rise and fall around the 2,000 metre mark, necessary for healthy cardamom, and of course receive plenty of rainfall. In times of ideal weather conditions, the land best suited for growing a particular crop tends to receive the most benefits. Épices de Cru’s extremely rare and fragrant cardamom is grown just outside the small village of Thekkady, near the Periyar Lake Tiger Preserve. It comes from a bushy plant (Elettaria cardamomum), that is a member of the ginger family, growing to about 10 feet tall. The spice pods are picked by hand, just before ripening so they don't split, and then simply sun-dried. Arab traders first brought cardamom from India to Egypt, Greece and Rome and the Middle East still consumes most of the world's cardamom in their Arabic coffee, pastries and rice dishes. The marauding Vikings found it in Byzantium and took it back to Scandinavia where it's become a staple spice in many Nordic recipes, especially pastries like Finland's pulla (a yeasty braided bread) and Sweden's semlor (cream pastries). Considered the Queen of Spices in India, and called elaichi, it appears in countless curries, biryani basmati rice dishes, desserts and cardamom tea. Very much a precious commodity and the best is almost as costly as vanilla and saffron.
Green cardamom pods infuse any dish with an unmistakable, sweet and refreshing aroma. With more peppery punch than white cardamom, but with less smokiness than black cardamom, these cardamom seeds add a delicate, warming touch. Its husk also contains volatile oils that can be infused in numerous dishes or cardamom tea. When grinding to a powder, use the whole cardamom pod, not just the cardamom seeds. Please note -our cardamom seeds are potent, so you may want to adjust the amount when using for the first time.
About Épices De Cru
Épices De Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.
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Our new neighbourhood food store is now open for all Vinegar Shed products plus everyday staples, fruit & veg, cheese & charcuterie, provisions, kitchenalia & food to go.
18 St. Mary’s Road, Ealing, London, W5 5ES. Tel: 0208 566 0632
Open: Monday-Saturday 8AM to 6PM, Sunday 9AM to 2PM