Cardamom was first used around 700 A.D. and was imported to Europe for the first time in around 1200 A.D. It is now grown in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Central America.
The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and Asian cuisine either whole or in a ground form.
Black cardamom is a Chinese species of the plant, used in the same way as the green Indian variety.
Cardamom has a strong, pungent flavour. It is often used in Danish pastry and breads.