Monday, August 3, 2015

Sexy Green Peanuts and the Queen of Spices

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a spice that is sometimes brewed with coffee and teas and can be a healthy enhancement. It helps neutralize coffee’s acidity naturally and adds a luscious aroma and rich flavor.

Brewing java with cardamom has long been favored in Arab cultures and especially by the Turks. It is also a vital component in 'masala tea' of Nepal and India. A

 Chinese friend refers to the cardamom seed pods as ‘green peanuts’ which they can resemble a bit with creative finesse (photo below).

The following are translations of 'cardamom' that I learned in a few different languages--as an admirer of the 'green peanut': doukou guoshi/蔻果实 in Mandarin, sukumel/सुकुमेल in Nepali, ilaichi/इलायची in Hindi and grawan/กระวาน in Thai). 

For the bold and willing, a dose of roxy (firewater) can also spice up java--known as Mustang Coffee in the Himalaya. Roxy-java is especially revitalizing in the highlands on cold, unkind days.

More information about cardamom, the Queen of Spices, aka, green peanuts, can be found at these informative sites (including many putative benefits)--
Sign outside a diner in Ningbo, China. Photo by Alonzo Lyons

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