Aromatic CARDAMOM is the fruit of a tropical plant related to GINGER, and is one of the world’s most expensive spices, after SAFFRON and VANILLA. Growing cardamom is extremely labour-intensive. Its flavour is camphorous and slightly lime-like. Cardamom is essential to the cuisines of the Middle East (especially in coffee), India (CHAI MASALA, GARAM MASALA), and Scandinavia, in sweet breads and cakes. It has a strong delicious flavour, and should be used sparingly. Bruise whole pods before using to allow the flavour to escape - press down on them with either your thumb or the flat side of a knife until the pod opens.