Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of a herb that belongs to the family ‘Zingiberaceae’ and is scientifically known as ‘Elettaria Cardamomum’.
Cardamom is known as the Queen of spices, because of its worldwide popularity and various usages for cooking and medicinal purposes, and it is the third most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla.
The exact origin of cardamom is not known, but it is believed that the spice originated in India as a wild herb. It is green or yellow in colour and used directly as seeds or in powdered form mainly to flavour food and drinks. The flexible character of the spice is that it can be used both in sweet and salty dishes.
Cardamom is mainly grown in tropical regions. Loam soil is the most suitable soil for cardamom plants, and they take about two years to mature. Normally the harvesting season for cardamom is from October to November. The global consumption of cardamom keeps on increasing year-on-year along with other spices and pulses, making it one of the high-demand spices in the world.
Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom in the world and produces nearly 60-70% of the commodity. The other major producers of cardamom in the world are India, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Honduras, Nepal and Bhutan.The major cardamom exporting countries are Guatemala, India, United Arab Emirates, Nepal, and Singapore.The top importers of cardamom are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.
The main producers of cardamom in India are Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Nagaland. Idukki district in Kerala is the largest cardamom producer in India, and places such as Udumbanchola, Peerumedu and Devikulam are the prominent areas for cardamom cultivation in Idukki district.
The major trading hubs of cardamom in India are:
Kerala (Vandanmedu, Kumily, Thekkady, Cochin, Thodupuzha)
Tamil Nadu (Bodinayakanur, Pattiveeranpatti, Virudhunagar, Thevaram)
Andhra Pradesh (Cumbum)
Karnataka (Saklashpur, Mercara, Medikeri, Mangalore)
Maharashtra (Mumbai )
Names of cardamom in different Indian languages:
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