Our cardamom is sweet and tart, reminiscent of summer fruits, fresh herbs and cut grass. The cardamom fruit turns yellow as it ripens and has a slightly softer, sweeter flavor than standard green cardamom, but is perfect in recipes that call for green cardamom.
Our cardamom is grown on a single estate in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, on a biodynamic farm, using traditional organic methods. The farm emphasizes workers' rights, sustainability and fair business practices.
- Origin: Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
- Aliases: green cardamom, yellow cardamom, elaichi, hel
- Process: Hot-air-dried
- Ingredients: 100% whole cardamom pods (Elettaria cardamomum)
- Tasting notes: Ginger • Apricots • Jungle Flowers
- Throw a few pods while baking or sautéing chicken
- Cook down with fruit juice for a savory/sweet sauce
- Add a handful of pods to your masala chai
- In Tequila Shrimp & Chorizo Skewers (community recipe)
- In Yellow Cardamom Ice Cream with Candied Fennel Seeds (community recipe)
- Pairs well with: Wild Mountain Cumin, New Harvest Turmeric, Ground Cinnamon Verum
Guatemala exports 80% of the world’s cardamom, but the spice is virtually unknown in local markets. It is grown exclusively for export, mostly on tiny plots by indigenous farmers in the country’s remote mountainous region.
Guatemala's cloud forests are ideal for growing cardamom, which thrives in temperate high-altitude environments with plenty of rainfall. The comparatively low temperatures in the mountains during the harvest season (November-January) ensure that the cardamom has very high levels of fragrant essential oils.
Our cardamom is grown on one of the only single-estate cardamom farms in Guatemala, which is also the only farm to manage the supply chain in its entirety, from cultivation to harvesting, drying and export. Cardamom is officially graded only by its size and green color; however, those factors don’t correlate to flavor. This cardamom has a yellow tinge since it's allowed to ripen fully, resulting in softer, fruitier, and overall more complex flavor.
Meet the Farmer:
Our relationship with partner farmer Don Amilcar in Guatemala is one of our longest-standing and closest farmer partnerships. Maybe he was amused when Ethan first visited the farm in 2016 and hauled back a duffel back full of Don Amilcar's vine-ripened cardamom pods in 2016. We all hoped that would be the beginning of a long partnership... and it was.
In 2020, we brought in more than 20,000 pounds of spices from him, which, among other things, helped him build a new farmhouse. (Last photo, scroll to the end. )
Don Amilcar planted his first cardamom vine when he was 9 years old. In the years since then, he's created the only vertically integrated cardamom operation in Guatemala with his own farm, his own drying facility and now, his own export operation run by his daughter Meyllin.
His farming operation is so impressive and produces cardamom so good that Saveur called him "the farmer shaking up the Guatemalan cardamom trade."
Want to check out his farm? You can watch a short video we made with him here.
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Burlap & Barrel are the best spices I’ve ever used.
I just ordered a 12 ounce container after having made multiple batches of cardamom crackers using the cardamom from my previous order. Using cardamom along with the tumeric and pepper with garbanzo bean flour resulted in our new favorite. These crackers are reminiscent of those I first encountered In Cairo many years ago. Comparing the cardamom here with pods from our grocery store was a big surprise. The store brand had a much stronger smell but upon grinding the seeds from each - these were so incredibly superior in both intensity and complex taste.
Wonderfully fresh dried herb. I use in my homemade chai.
I am fortunate enough to have purchased 5 of your products. Grinding fresh spices is a revelation after using bottled spices. The aromas and tastes are amazing. If the times were different, I would be flying of to visit the origin places of these excellent products. For now, I use the food and my imagination! Thx
I have only had an opportunity to use these once so far. but the pods were super fragrant and top quality like everything I have received from Burlap and Barrel. I’m looking through my cookbooks for more recipes to give me a chance to use them more often!