Cardamom comes in several forms depending upon how the cardamom seed pods are treated.
Green cardamom pods are the preferred form of this spice in it’s native country, India. This fancier kind of cardamom has been picked while still immature and sun dried to preserve it’s bright green color. Green cardamom pods are harder to find and more expensive in part because of their superior ability to retain aroma and flavor longer. This premium form of cardamom is all coinsurers will use in any recipe which calls for cardamom. Buy Now
Cardamom seed has had the outer pod, or cardamom fruit, removed so that only the pure seeds remain. This form of cardamom spice is sometimes referred to as cardamom-decort, which simply means the pods have been removed and only the pure seed remains. Generally the seeds are crushed or ground prior to use, which provides plenty of cardamom flavor at a more economical price, substitute 12 seeds for every whole pod called for in a recipe.
Ground cardamom is convenient to have for baking and other applications were the spice needs to be ground. Freshness and thus flavor is of course compromised when cardamom is pre-ground.
White Cardamom can be found in the United States and Europe that has been bleached to achieve it’s color, or lack of it. It is often used in baking and some desserts because it’s color helps keeps light colored batters, sauces, and confections speck free.
Black cardamom is the seeds of closely related species that also have aromatic seeds and an appearance similar to that of true cardamom. But, black cardamom is not a suitable substitutable for the real thing. It is an ingredient used in some African cooking.