Cardamom is one of the world’s very ancient spices and also the third most expensive one next to saffron and vanilla. It is native to the East originating in the forests of the Western Ghats in southern India, where it grows wild. Today it also grows in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indo China, Tanzania, El Salvador, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Cardamom was well known in ancient times and the Egyptians used it in perfumes and incense and chewed it to whiten their teeth, while the Romans used it for their stomachs when they over-indulged. Vikings came upon cardamom about one thousand years ago, in Constantinople, and introduced it into Scandinavia, where it remains popular to this day.