/kahr"deuh meuhm/, n.
1. the aromatic seed capsules of a tropical Asian plant, Elettaria cardamomum, of the ginger family, used as a spice or condiment and in medicine.
2. the plant itself.
3. a related plant, Amomum compactum, or its seeds, used as a substitute for true cardamom.
Also, cardamon /kahr"deuh meuhn/, cardamum.
[1350-1400; ME ( < MF) < L cardamomum < Gk kardámonon, b. kárdamon cress and ámomon a spice plant]

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Spice consisting of whole or ground dried fruit, or seeds, of Elettaria cardamomum, a perennial herb of the ginger family.

The flavour is warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic. Cardamom is a popular seasoning. Native to moist forests of southern India, the fruit may be collected from wild plants, but most is cultivated. The whole fruit is a green, three-sided oval capsule containing 15–20 dark, hard, angular seeds.

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also spelled  cardamon  
 spice (spice and herb) consisting of whole or ground dried fruit, or seeds, of Elettaria cardamomum, a herbaceous perennial of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The seeds have a warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic flavour somewhat reminiscent of camphor. They are a popular seasoning in South Asian dishes, particularly curries, and in Scandinavian pastries.

      Native to the moist forests of southern India, cardamom fruit may be collected from wild plants; but most is cultivated in India, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala. Leafy shoots arise 1.5 to 6 metres (5 to 20 feet) from the branching rootstock. Flowering shoots, approximately 1 metre long, may be upright or sprawling; each bears numerous flowers about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter with greenish petals and a purple-veined white lip.

      The whole fruit, 0.8 to 1.5 cm, is a green, three-sided oval capsule containing 15 to 20 dark, reddish brown to brownish black, hard, angular seeds. They are picked or clipped from the stems just before maturity, cleansed, and dried in the sun or in a heated curing chamber. Cardamom may be bleached to a creamy white colour in the fumes of burning sulfur. After curing and drying, the small stems of the capsules are removed by winnowing. Decorticated cardamom consists of husked dried seeds. The essential oil occurs in large parenchyma cells underlying the epidermis of the seed coat. The essential oil content varies from 2 to 10 percent; its principal components are cineole and α-terpinyl acetate.

      The name cardamom is sometimes applied to other similar spices of the ginger family (Amomum, Aframomum, Alpinia) used in cuisines of Africa and Asia or as commercial adulterants of true cardamoms.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Cardamom — Car da*mom (k[aum]r d[.a]*m[u^]m), n. [L. cardamomun, Gr. karda mwmon] 1. The aromatic fruit, or capsule with its seeds, of several plants of the Ginger family growing in the East Indies and elsewhere, and much used as a condiment, and in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cardamom — 1550s, from L. cardamomum, from Gk. kardamomon, from kardamon cress (of unknown origin) + amomon spice plant …   Etymology dictionary

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