SomruS Origins: The History of Cardamom
Rum and fresh, all-natural Wisconsin cream were wonderful bases to build a liqueur from, but we love our spices. If we were going to make the first, delectable Indian cream liqueur, we knew we needed to represent with some genuine flavors representative of the diversity and history of Indian cuisine. And what’s more traditionally appropriate than cardamom?
Surpassed only by vanilla and saffron, it’s the world’s third most expensive spice, and its origins are purely Indian. Even during the 4th century, the Greek father of botany, Theophrastus, acknowledged that cardamom was Indian in origin. Cardamom was even one of the spices listed on ancient “spice tablets” unearthed in the archives of the House of the Sphinxes in Mycenae. Suffice to say, cardamom is old-school Indian.
These days, cardamom production in India has been surpassed by Guatemala, but it’s still a major export. The seeds are harvested from the plant’s pods and can be used whole or ground, though it’s worth noting that cardamom starts to lose flavor the moment it’s ground, and it’s best to store the seeds in their pods. In terms of flavor, cardamom brings a lot to the table. It’s incredibly versatile, and can work with both sweet and savory dishes. In SomruS, it brings a smoky, aromatic flavor with a fragrant coolness and just a hint of bite. It adds the perfect accent to our other key flavors: rose, pistachio, saffron and almond.
Interestingly, cardamom is also huge in Sweden and Finland, where it’s used in a number of very traditional sweet dishes. While our traditional Indian spice may have found worldwide love and acclaim, we knew that we couldn’t make an Indian cream liqueur without it.