Buying Cardamom? Things You Should Know

If you’re not familiar with exotic spices, you may be wondering how to buy cardamom.

Cardamom is a flavorful spice that’s used in many cuisines. It can be found in most grocery stores, markets, and online retailers. Use the following tips and information to help you find cardamom in your favorite grocery retailers.

Buying Cardamom - Things to look for

Cardamom can be used in sweet or savory dishes to add a unique flavor. It’s frequently used in Arabic, Middle Eastern, Swedish, and Indian dishes. It can be found with the spices in most retailers. Cardamom comes in several varieties so it’s important to understand a little about these types and varieties when you’re shopping for this flavorful spice.

Origin of Cardamom

Cardamom comes from the seed pods of several different plants that are closely related to ginger and turmeric. These seedpods contain many seeds but the entire pod can be used in cooking.

Cardamom is sold in a few different ways and there are several varieties of cardamom. It grows well in tropical areas and is often imported from India, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The US imports most cardamom from Guatemala. The climate in the United States isn’t ideal for growing cardamom it which is why it can be quite pricey and harder to find in US retailers.

Varieties of Cardamom

When buying cardamom, it’s important to consider the different types available. There are 3 basic types of cardamom and they are named for their colors:

  • Black Cardamom: is often used whole in the pod which means you remove the pod from your dish before eating it.
  • Green Cardamom: is the most common variety and is the one found in most traditional supermarkets.
  • White Cardamom: is just green cardamom that has been bleached.

All types of cardamom are sold either in whole pod form or ground.

Also Read: Different Types of Peppercorn

How Cardamom is Sold

Ground cardamom and whole pods

Cardamom is sold whole in the pod or powder form. In some markets, you may be able to purchase the whole pods in loose bins which allows you to purchase only the amount you need.

Ground cardamom usually comes in a glass or plastic jar which makes it convenient to use. But, ground cardamom doesn’t have the same intense flavor as whole pod cardamom.

Whole cardamom pods may be sold in small plastic bags in the spice aisle of your grocery store.

Costs and Buying Cardamom in Bulk

The cost of cardamom will vary based on where you buy it and how much you wish to buy at once.

You may find cardamom online in bulk quantities which can help you save money. International markets and local ethnic stores may sell loose cardamom pods which allows you to buy as little or as much as you need. Cardamom keeps best when stored as whole pods.

Cardamom pods can be found for under $3.00 per ounce while ground cardamom can be found under $2.00 per ounce.

When shopping online for cardamom, be sure to check conversion rates if the product is listed with a different currency. This can help you get the most product for your money.

Also Read: Online Asian Grocery Stores In The United States

Where to Buy Cardamom

You can find cardamom in most grocery stores. It’s usually found in the spices and seasonings aisle. Some markets may also sell it in the produce area if they have a large selection of fresh spices and herbs.

It may be harder to find cardamom in smaller stores that don’t have a large selection of exotic spices and seasonings. You can also purchase cardamom through online grocery retailers. If you have an ethnic market in your area, that may be the best place to look for cardamom.

They tend to have a better selection of cardamom and will likely have different varieties as well.

Other Things to Consider

There are several types of cardamom that are available in most markets. Keep in mind that cardamom can also be spelled “cardamon” or “cardamum” depending on the country of origin.

Since cardamom is almost always imported, it’s important to understand what you’re buying which can be difficult when the label is in another language. This is one of the reasons it can be helpful to choose an ethnic market to purchase your exotic spices from.

Ethnic markets are knowledgeable about what they sell and they can help you choose the best product based on how you plan to use it.

In Conclusion

Cardamom is a popular spice in Indian dishes and many other ethnic cuisines. It’s added to sweet and spicy foods to give a unique flavor that can’t be found in other spices.

While cardamom can be pricey when compared to other spices, it is potent so a little goes a long way. That means you can buy it in bulk if it’s a spice that you particularly enjoy.

Ethnic markets and online retailers can often be the best sources for buying exotic spices like cardamom. They tend to have good prices and can provide useful information when you’re shopping for a spice you’re not familiar with.