Cardamom, The Queen Of All Spices
(Read the passage given below)
Cardamom, the queen of all spices, has a history as old as the human race. It is the dried fruit of a herbaceous perennial plant. Warm humid climate, loamy soil rich in organic matter, distributed rainfall and special cultivation and processing methods all combine to make Indian cardamom truly unique in aroma, flavor, size and it has a parrot green color.
Two types of cardamom are produced in India. The first type is the large one, which has not much significance as it is not traded in the future market. It is cultivated in north-eastern area of the country. The second type is produced in the southern states and these are traded in the future market. These are mainly cultivated in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. As per the future market rules, only 7 mm quality was previously traded in exchanges. But later, it relaxed its norms and now 6 mm quality is also traded in the exchanges.
Cardamom is an expensive spice, secondly to saffron. Indian cardamom is known in two main varieties: Malabar cardamom and Mysore cardamom. The Mysore variety contains leaves of cineol, limonene and hence is more aromatic. India is the world’s largest producer and exporter emerged as the leading producer and exporter of cardamom.
The main harvest season of cardamom in India is between August-February. Cardamom reaches at yielding stage two years after the plantation. The primary physical markets of cardamom are Kumily Vandenmodu, Jhekkady, Puliyarmala in Kerala and Bodynaikkaur and Cumbum in Tamilnadu.
Kerala is the main producer of cardamom and contributes up to 60% in total production. Karnataka produces around 25% of the total production cardamom. Ooty is the main producer of cardamom in Tamilnadu and contributes around 10-15% of the total production. Besides India, Guatemala also produces around 1,000-2,000 ton cardamom per year. Due to low quality of cardamom from Guatemala, it remains available at cheaper rates.