Cardamom is considered to be one of the world’s oldest spices, as old as 4000 years! Though it originally came from wild plants of the Western Ghats in Southern India, civilizations like ancient Egypt used Cardamom for many medicinal purposes, as part of rituals and even for embalming. They chewed cardamom pods as a way to help keep their breath minty and to help clean their teeth. The Greeks and Romans used Cardamom for its pungent aroma. It was a main ingredient in perfumes and aromatic oils. On the other hand, Vikings first discovered this spice during their travels and brought it back to Scandinavia.
However, Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices. The high price is due to its manual harvesting techniques that require customized human labor. The handpicking process is highly labor-intensive. Each cardamom pod must be picked when it is about ¾ ripe. As a result, caution with time and care is needed to yield this spice. We usually get only 50 – 150 pounds of Cardamom from an acre. Besides, the rising demand for Cardamom has played its role in the dynamics of supply and demand to set the price even higher.