What Does Cardamom Taste Like? A Detailed Flavor Profile!

If you regularly follow cooking shows and read recipe books, you must have heard or read the name of cardamom a lot. Well, it is because it has been used for centuries in cooking and has a fan following from people all around the world. People love how it tastes and some have even declared it “Queen of the Spices” as well. 

So, if you have never tried it before, you must be wondering- What does cardamom taste like?

Describing the exact taste of cardamom is challenging as it has different varieties. From giving a citrusy to a mild taste, cardamom can complement the food in many ways (which we are describing in this article). 

So, read the article carefully before deciding whether you should add cardamom in your kitchen’s spice cabin or not. 

What Does Cardamom Spice Taste Like? A Brief Description 

Cardamom is considered one of the most expensive spices just behind saffron and vanilla. It shares the same family with ginger and provides a great flavor to any food. 

There are two types of cardamom, both have unique colors and tastes. 

  1. Green Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
  2. Black Cardamom (Amomum cardamomum)

What Does Green Cardamom Taste Like? 

Most people call Green cardamom the true cardamom. It enhances the flavor of the food by giving a herbal touch just like you feel when you add eucalyptus leaves. But that’s not it! In addition to this, green cardamom also has a hint of citrussy and a sweeter flavor. You can enjoy all of these flavors from the first bite or sip of the food/drink you are cooking by adding Green cardamom. Hence, it is used more than the Black Cardamom type. 

What Does Black Cardamom Taste Like? 

Black Cardamom is of woody dark color and adds a flavor that tastes like bark and smoke. That is why the use of black cardamom is limited. You can add black cardamom to soups, marinades, chutney sauce, and rice puddings.  

black-cardamom

Only the seeds of black cardamom are extracted from the pods and then smoke-dried (hence the smokey flavor). Contrarily, the whole pod of green cardamom is used to make the spice.

Wondering Where Does Cardamom Come From?

Cardamom is actually the pods that are grown on the cardamom plant. This plant is grown only in selective areas which are parts of India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Indonesia. 

People have bleached the green cardamom and released it as the third type- white cardamom. White cardamom has a mild taste than the other two naturally occurring types. 

What Is Cardamom Used For? 

Cardamom has been used for cooking and medicinal purposes for centuries. In the modern world, its use is now limited to cooking only:

Where Can You Add Cardamom?

You now have an idea about what cardamom tastes like. But you might be wondering now where you can add this spice. 

You can add the Cardamom in the following meal/drinks:  

Apple Pie

Chefs add one or two tablespoons during baking the apple pie to avoid getting too sweet. Its citrusy flavor also gives pie a new kind of taste. 

Basmati Rice

Want an aromatic effect in the cooked rice, then add cardamom to it during the cooking phase. People also add cardamom when cooking rice puddings. Rice and cardamom really go well with each other. That is why people of South and South-East Asia cook rice with spices that also include cardamom. 

Cooking Lamb

Popular Chef Gordan Ramsay has made its cooked lamb recipe public in which one notable ingredient is cardamom. It enhances the aroma and taste with its flavorsome effects.

Swedish Sweet Buns

The Swedish sweet bun tastes different from the other buns as it contains cardamom seeds in it. 

Soups 

Adding cardamom in soup increases the flavor and also provides medicinal benefits. If you want a strong flavor of cardamom, use it in its raw form. However, if you just want a hint of its flavor, add its powder form. People also ask us, “What does ground cardamom taste like?” and the answer is ground cardamom has less intense, or should we say “Mild” flavor. Generally, It is made by the grinding of cardamom seeds only and not the whole pods. 

cardamom-curry

Tea

Adding cardamom in tea is very common in Asian households. They have been doing this for centuries as it also provides health benefits in addition to a terrific taste. Koreans add cardamom to make a tea called Jeho tang. Similarly, South Asians add this spice to increase the aroma of the tea. 

Wondering what does cardamom tea tastes like? Well, it tastes floral, herbal, citrusy, and a little sweet. So, we also suggest you give cardamom tea a try at least once. 

Cookies

You may be surprised to read this but cookies which have cardamom are really delish. Wondering what does cardamom taste like in cookies?  The mildly sweet and citrusy flavor of this spice makes the taste of the cookies unique and flavorsome.

So, how about you make cardamom cookies next time you have a gathering at your home. Adding this spice will surely make your guests ask, “what is the secret ingredient in these cookies.” 

In addition to this, cardamom is popularly added in these cuisines: 

  • Cardamom is an important ingredient in the Moroccan seven spices. 
  • Chefs also add cardamom in Thai curry pastes to give it a unique touch.
  • Cardamom is also added to Turkish coffee and Afghanistan Kahwa. 
  • In Indian kitchens, adding cardamom is common in masala Chai and garam masala.

Because it has a little citrusy and spicy taste, cardamom goes well with other spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. Thus, you can add it with other spices without any fear of causing a mess.

Now, let us tell you how you are doing your body a favor by adding cardamom to your diet. 

What Are The Health Benefits of Cardamom?

Whenever people ask us, Is cardamom healthy? We say Absolutely Yes! The reason is the nutrients that are found in this elegant spice. 

health benefits of Cardamom infographic

One tablespoon of the cardamom has the following nutritional value: 

Nutrients Quality
Calories18 cal
Fat0.4g
Fiber1.56g
Protein0.6g

There are also other vitamins, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium present in the cardamom. 

One question we often receive is, “Is cardamom good for weight loss? Well, Good News! Yes, it is. The nutrients present in the cardamom speed up the metabolism rate in the body which converts the fat cells into energy. That is also the reason why you feel active and in a good mood after drinking cardamom tea. 

what-does-cardamom-taste-like

But the benefits of cardamom do not end there. Get ready to enjoy the following health benefits if you choose to add cardamom to your diet:

  • Improved digestion
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Stabilize sugar levels
  • Slimmer belly
  • Freshens breath

Why Do Some People Don’t Eat Cardamom? 

Despite knowing that Cardamom has great taste and health benefits, some people still don’t add it in their diet. The reason is that it is costlier and people don’t think it’s not worth spending the money. 

You must be wondering, why is cardamom so expensive? 

You have just read that cardamom is grown in only a handful of countries in the world. That is one reason why its price is higher. But the biggest reason for the costlier price is that it is not easy to grow a cardamom plant. 

On average, a cardamom plant takes up to four years to mature and start producing pods. It is a long time and the farmers have to take care of plants till this stage. So, the expensive price of this spice is justified. But let us assure you that Cardamom is worth every penny. 

FAQs

Question: What Does Cardamom taste like in coffee?

Answer: Cardamom really enriches the taste of the coffee by adding a touch of sweetness and spiciness. In addition, cardamom will also give a little citrusy hint which you will feel after taking the first sip. 

Green cardamom is used most of the time in making coffee. Those who love to add cardamom in coffee also add ginger as both enhance each other’s tastes and act as a mood booster. So, we suggest you do give cardamom coffee a try. 

Question: What does cardamom smell like?

Answer: Cardamom has a really rich history when it comes to its scent. Ancient Greeks used to make perfume from cardamoms. Similarly, ancient Indians and Chinese also used cardamom for refreshing breath. 

Cardamom pods emit a great aroma for people to smell. It smells spicy, earthy, smoky, and citrusy at once. Moreover, people still chew cardamom pods to this day to get rid of bad breath. Chewing two to three green cardamom pods for just a few minutes will work its magic and also improve gum health. 

Question: Does cardamom taste like licorice?

Answer: There is definitely a resemblance of taste between green cardamom and licorice. Both have a light sweet taste with a touch of a little spiciness. However, green cardamom is richer in flavor than the other.  Green cardamom tastes like a blend of both licorice and cloves. Those who want to enjoy the same benefits as cardamom but don’t like the herbal (clove-like) touch of the spice use licorice as a cardamom substitute. 

Wrapping Up

Long story short, cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world that is used by people all around the world. 

It comes from the cardamom plant and has two types- Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom, both have different tastes. Those who regularly add this spice have really adored the flavor and even called it “Queen of Spices.” So, What does Cardamom taste like? 

Green cardamom tastes herbal, citrusy, and a little sweet while black cardamom has a bit of a smokey flavor. In the kitchens, mostly green cardamom is used as it better complements the taste of other spices like ginger, turmeric, saffron, etc. 

On top of this, you can enjoy a great number of health benefits after adding this spice to your diet. So, don’t wait for more, quickly buy cardamom from a nearby grocery store and make it a permanent part of your diet.

Dr Umme Hurayra

Dr Umme Hurayra

Hi, I'm Umme Hurayra. I am currently studying MBBS in Mymensingh Medical College. Medical science is an incredible thing. I like to share my knowledge with everyone.

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