Fan Si Pan Black Cardamum
Name: Black Cardamom, Svartkardemumma, Thao Qua, Amomum tsao-ko
Origin: Hoang Lien, Vietnam
Harvest: Nov 2020
Character: Smokey, fruity, funky
Pair with: Cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves, coriander, Sichuan pepper, chili, nutmeg, allspice, galangal
Our black cardamum is sourced from the small city of Sa Pa that has become an important hub for cardamum trade as demand surges from China. It grows semi wild in the shadows of Vietnams highest peak, Fan Si Pan, and is sourced from ethnic communities that has cultivated the crop in the area as a replacement for opium since the 1990s. Our suppliers trek deep into the forests of Hoang Lien National park to get to their plantations. Once harvested the pods are directly roasted over open fire for 2 days before being trekked back to Sa Pa.
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Black cardamom has a mully, smoky yet fruity aroma and taste due to the roasting upon harvest. In Vietnam the dried spice is known as thao qua and is essential for making the broth for the countries most famous broth, Phó.
The smokey aroma really complements cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel and star anise that make up the base of the soup. If not used its distinct flavor is very much missed. In Sichuan cuisine black cardamom plays a vital role in hot pots, broths, stews and spice mixes. Other than the spices mentioned above it pairs well with nutmeg, allspice, chili, Sichuan pepper and galangal.
We use this cardamum quite a lot in dry meat rubs, marinades, vegetarian stews to add smokiness and when we pickle vegetables.
To release the flavor the pods can be toasted to enhance nutty characteristics and lightly crushed before added early in cooking.
This black cardamum is of the species amomum tsao-ko indigenous to the mountains of northern Vietnam and Yunnan in southern China. It grows along stream beads in high elevation forests. The genus of plants known as Amomum are known for their pungency and aromatic properties and is part of the ginger family of Zingiberaceae.