Our Cloud Forest Cardamom is sweet and tart, reminiscent of summer fruits, fresh herbs and cut grass. It comes straight from a single-estate regenerative farm in the high-altitude cloud forests of Guatemala. The fruit turns yellow as it ripens on the vine and has a softer and sweeter flavor that makes it a perfect upgrade to standard green cardamom.
It is grown on a biodynamic farm, using traditional organic methods. The farm emphasizes workers' rights, sustainability and fair business practices.
- Add to dishes at the beginning of the cooking process
- Crack pods in a mortar and pestle and add them to a pot of rice
- Add to a stews, curries or other rich sauces
- Throw a few pods into braising liquid for chicken or beef
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.
While we do not make any health claims on any of our spices, there has been some historic and recent evidence that cardamom can potentially be helpful for:
- Antimicrobial & Antifungal Properties: Cardamom shows natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties. (A, B, C)
- Anti-Cancer & Immune System Benefits: The components of cardamom may provide anticancer and immune system benefits and cytotoxic properties. (A, B, C, D, E)
- Blood Sugar Control & Diabetes: Studies show possible benefits for both short- and long-term glucose control, and possible benefits for pre-diabetic individuals.(A, B, C)
- Cholesterol Reduction: Reduction of triglycerides and possible improvement in both LDL and HDL levels. (A, B, C)
- Preventing Tooth Decay & Infections: May help prevent tooth decay and periodontal infections.(A, B)
- Reducing Nausea & Vomiting: Topical essential oil mixtures including cardamom show potential to reduce nausea and vomiting postoperatively, and aromatherapy reduces chemotherapy-induced and pregnancy induced nausea. (A, B)
Further clinical studies are warranted and in progress. Please always consult your healthcare provider. This is not intended as medical advice.
The Best Cardamom Ever!
I make bitters. The quality of the spices directly translates to the quality of my bitters. Burlap & Barrel’s cardamom makes my Cardamom Bitters and Sichuan Peppercorn Bitters standouts. I’ve worked with other brands of cardamom and there’s just no comparison. B&B’s cardamom is not only exceptionally good, but the commitment to equitably sourcing aligns with my values too. If you care about great ingredients and the values of a company, then give these a try!
Cardamom must be removed from pods.
Having only used ground cardamom in the past, I didn’t realize the seed pods that I ordered would be difficult to open and remove the seeds. So I ground them and had to shake them through an extra fine sieve to retrieve most of the seeds. It’s messy and not an efficient method to extract all the seeds. As much as I can appreciate their freshness being in a pod, it’s too frustrating to do this as I use cardamom often in cooking & baking. I’d suggest you state this in your cardamom description.
THE MOST awesome aroma!
These are FRESH and aromatic! I put cardamom seeds in my ground coffee. I sleep with them, yes, cardamom helps with sleep. I sprinkle them around the house because I like the smell. I add them to my chai tea mix. I open the jar and take a whiff. They are strong, so the 4-5 seeds I would put in the coffee pot, are 2-3 with these.
Best Spices in the World
SO good! I tell everyone I can about B&B! Their spices will change the way you cook. They've brought previously unimaginable flavor to my food!