Since ancient times, the fragrant spice has delighted palates, influenced the fate of nations, and been hailed for its supposed medicinal properties. Whether it’s sprinkled atop a steaming pumpkin spice latte, dropped as a curl of bark into a hot wintertime cider, or featured in an aromatic, freshly baked apple pie, cinnamon has the power to evoke a degree of nostalgia and luxury that few other spices can match.
Whereas other spices live tucked away in dark cupboards black pepper proudly stands in shakers and grinders on the kitchen counter or – holiest of holy places – the dining table in nearly every single home and restaurant. It’s the only spice that finds its way into nearly every single dish.
The ancient Egyptians chewed cardamom seeds as a tooth cleaner; the Greeks and Romans used it as a perfume. Vikings came upon cardamom about one thousand years ago, in Constantinople, and introduced it into Scandinavia, where it remains popular to this day.